The people of Akwa Ibom State have applauded the state government and State Agency for Community and Social Development Projects, (CSDP) for rendering assistance to rural communities and vulnerable groups in the state, through life touching micro projects.
The commendation was given recently during the inspection of completed micro projects in 15 benefiting communities in the state by the Ministry of Economic Development and Ibom Deep SeaPort.
Expressing their gratitude in separate interviews, the Village Head of Okpo Eto Edem Idim community in Obot Akara local government area of the state, Chief Nsikak Ekefre commended the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel for impacting positively on the wellbeing of people living in the rural communities.
According to him, the Okpo Eto Edem Idim community was offered a cheque of 9million naira for the construction of a civic center and extention of electricity that would be of benefit to the people dwelling in the community.
“I want to thank the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his kind gesture to ensure that people living in rural communities are well taken care of. The state government gave us a cheque of 9million naira to execute two projects and we used judiciously made use of the fund to complete the two projects. The people are very happy”. He stated
The Village Head of Ukana Ikot Ekon community in Essien Udim local government area, Obong Solomon Umanah who disclosed that the State government and Community for Social Development Projects supported the community with a sum of 6million naira for the construction of a town hall and 3million naira for the extension of electricity, hinted that the two projects were fully completed within the stipulated time of three months.
Obong Umanah, while expressing his joy over the two projects, assured the state government and agency of maintaining and sustaining the projects in the community.
“Today is a happpy day for all of us because we have finally completed the two projects. We did not believe that the State government would financially assist us to complete the projects but it happened. The projects were completed within three months. Members of the community worked hard day and night to make sure that we complete the projects. We were given 9million naira to implement and execute the projects and the community contributed 1million naira which all together makes it 10million naira. We would make sure that the projects are maintained and sustained”. He added
At Ikot Nkang community in Etinan local government area, the people expressed happiness over the renovation of a town hall and extension of electricity.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the Deputy Village Head, Deacon Friday Udofia who appreciated the state government for empowering the people of the community through life touching projects further called on the state government to extend a helping hand to persons living with disabilities in the community, by providing vehicles and wheelchairs.
He stated “I thank the State government for the good things that is happening in this community. With what we have, it proves that we are ready for a bigger project in this community and I also want to plead that the State government assist the disabled ones in this community by providing vehicles and wheelchairs that can convey them to one place or the other.
Also contributing, the chairman, Community Projects Management Committee (CPMC), Dr. Friday Etuk disclosed that Ikot Nkang community was offered a cheque of 9million naira with a counterpart fund of 1million naira from the community to execute the two projects.
The Chairman who attributed the success of the completed micro projects to the participatory effort of members of the community, added that 347 houses are benefiting from the electrification projects.
“For the past six years, this community had no assess to electricity. So there was a need to embark on electrification project to ensure that members of this community gets light. We have 52 electrical poles. We have extended the light to 347 houses. There is no household that does not have light”. He said
A vulnerable group in Etinan local government area, identified as Esit Kiet social club was supported with a sum of 9million naira to construct a 2 cells lock-up stores, purchase of 7 tricycles, provision of white cane and earing aids to the vulnerable ones.
In Ikot Esen Oku community, Etinan local government area, the State government, through the implementing agency also supported the community with a sum of 4million naira for extension of electricity and 5million naira for the construction of a three classroom blocks at St Paul Catholic School.
A community member and a Head teacher of St. Paul Catholic School, Mrs Nse Emmanuel who recounted the agony the school pupils faced to access education in the school, added that the school was not a conducive learning environment for the pupils which has discouraged many parents from enrolling their children.
She stated “Before now, the school environment was so bad. In fact, it was not a conducive environment for pupils to learn. But now, the classrooms are conducive for the pupils to learn. The enrollment of pupils is very large and I thank the State government for that. It is up to 1,436.
Residents of Ibesit Okpokoro community in Oruk Anam local government area lauded the state government and agency for financially assisting the community with a sum of 9million naira for the construction of town hall and 30 No open stalls.
Other benefiting communities who were supported with a sum of 9million naira each to completely execute their projects includes Edem Ekpat, Ikot Ukpong Iman, Mbioto Ekpene Ituen in Etinan LGA, Offot Ikot Abasi Esu in Oruk Anam LGA , Ekpenyong Ofum, Adiasim Ikot Ono in Essien Udim LGA, Anua Ekeya in Okobo LGA, Ibam Edet in Ini LGA and Bung Idio Ediene in Ikono LGA.
In a seperate remarks, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon advised the benefiting communities and vulnerable groups to protect their completed projects against vandalism.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Effiong Ekpenyong noted that the present administration is focused of reducing poverty in the state as well as empowering the vulnerable ones in rural communities.
The Commissioner said “It is a very interesting development that I have seen so far. Governor Udom Emmanuel has a main objective and that is to reduce poverty in the state and empowering the vulnerable groups. The Governor decided to involve the communities on his developemental aspirations. The communities are the ones who handles the money, manage the money and implement the projects. The communities now owns the projects and as such no one can vandalize them. The projects are what they need and desire. All the communities in the entire state would benefit. It is going to be a gradual process”.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, Mr Ishmael Akpan hinted that members of the benefiting communities were trained to enable them have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively execute and manage their micro projects.
He further commended the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for collaborating with World Bank to reduce poverty among the vulnerable and less privileged in the society.