Governor Udom Emmanuel In My Community: Episode 1

Spotlight on Oruk Anam LGA

Determined to tackle the menace of maternal mortality in parts of the state towards reducing the main causes of maternal related deaths such as hemorrhage and some indirect causes such as anemia, malaria, heart disease, infection, unsafe abortion, eclampsia, obstructed labor, and ectopic pregnancy, embolism, and anesthesia complications, etc, the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration since coming on board in 2015 has placed high premium in the provision of quality and efficient primary health care system.

The goal of government is to ensure that all primary health care facilities in the state are equiped and capable of reducung maternal mortality.Oruk Anam LGA was not left out of government’s healthcare policy. For instance, a WHO 2017 report states that while 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries, skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborns.

Perhaps this explains why the Governor has spent massively in the health sector of the state especially the primary hearth system so as to ensure that basic health services are available, affordable and accessible to rural Akwa Ibom women and children. Of a fact, the high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequalities in access to quality health services and highlights the gap between rich and poor.

Women in less developed countries have, on average, many more pregnancies than women in developed countries, and their lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is higher.

But as far as Governor Emmanuel is concerned, most maternal deaths are preventable, once the the health-care solutions and infrastructure to prevent or manage complications are put in place.

Oruk Anam is widely acknowledged as one of the largest Local Government Areas, LGAs, in Akwa Ibom State due to its vast landmass. Since its creation in 1989, the area has groaned for internal roads to access its rich agricultural resources to allow for the free flow of men and materials and boost the economic activities in the area.

Governor Udom Emmanuel has never hidden his special liking for the Oruk Anam people, thus aggressively embarking on life touching projects in the zone.

The Governor completely re-built the General Hospital at Ikot Okoro, and finished it with state of the arts equipment. Previously, this is a place that had been over taken by weeds, trees and reptiles. The only recognizable facility that stood there before the re-construction was an abandoned morgue, a dilapidated building used for local embalment of corpses. Today, cases of maternal mortality is gradually becoming a thing of the past as the area now boast of a world class hospital.

The same positive aggression visited the Akwa Ibom University Campus at Obio Akpa in Oruk Anam LGA with internal roads, lecture theatres, administrative blocks, studios, etc.

In addition to other projects, including school blocks, the Governor awarded several roads to be constructed in the Local Government area.

Governor Emmanuel’s vision is premised on his belief that a well-designed infrastructure is an essential driver of national prosperity and is a pre requisite for economic expansion and for future growth to occur. Infrastructure enables a nation’s productivity, quality of life, and economic progression by driving growth, creating jobs, and improving productivity, quality of life and efficiency. It underpins growth by providing the supporting networks upon which we all rely.

From Ikot Ikara to Ibesit Okpokoro is 14km road project handled by JMK construction company limited. Big side drains, culverts and stone base have been done up to km 8 and contractors are speeding up.

The Governor’s philosophy is that a networked infrastructure, such as good transportation and communications, boost long-term economic output because they provide benefits to other sectors, such as improved business efficiency, effective mechanisms to coordinate and manage supply chains and product delivery. Resilient and dependable networks enable business confidence which leads to increased business investment and growth and the creation of new economic opportunities.

There is also the 4.94km Ibesit Okpokoro -Ikot Ibritam road handled by Nsik Engineering Company Limited, a terrain that inundated with huge trees is now a clear road with a bridge accompanying it. Another ongoing project is the 18.95km IkotIbritam – Ekeffe – Ikot Akpan Afaha Road with a bridge.

Investment in infrastructure and how these investments are managed, the Governor believes, can also have a significant impact on government economic objectives as new investments can make a significant contribution to productivity and economic performance if they have high benefit-cost ratios. Infrastructure investments therefore, are essential for the functioning of the economy and contribute to business efficiency, connectivity and business growth which can result in improved confidence in current and future infrastructure.

Also in Oruk Anam are the Navy Secondary School, inaugurated three years ago after the Governor’s efforts at providing facilities in partnership with the Nigerian Navy;the recent private sector driven establishment of a shipyard, Norfin Offshore Shipyard; as well as a Garri Processing Mill spearheaded by the Governor’s wife’s pet project, FEYREP.

Oruk Anam LGA is today a huge construction site and the Governor is of the view that governments play a unique role in infrastructure due to their ability to provide strategic direction through planning and regulation. This role, he believes, sets the environment to support wider infrastructure planning and investments and thus economic prosperity.

No doubt, the Akwa Ibom State Government is promoting an attractive climate for private investment in infrastructure to improve the quality, quantity and competitiveness of the economy as well as removing barriers to private investment in public infrastructure, to improve the attractiveness of public infrastructure as an investment because extensive and efficient infrastructure is critical for ensuring the effective functioning of the economy, as it is an important factor in determining the location of economic activity and the kinds of activities or sectors that can develop within a state.

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