The Akwa Ibom State government has spent a whopping N678.8m on life-touching projects aimed at reducing poverty in rural communities in the state, a commissioner has revealed.
Barr. Ekong Sampson, the state Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, stated this Wednesday in uyo, during the presentation of Award/Certificate to ten benefiting communities that executed micro projects with funding provided by the state government.
Sampson, who said the intervention became necessary after the state government carried out a poverty survey in the 31 local government of the state, listed the projects executed to include; health care centres, school buildings, motorized boreholes, rural electrification, civic centres, rural markets, viewing centres, drainage among others.
“His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, graciously fulfilled all the requirement requested by world bank including the payment of the Initial government contribution which enabled the state to come on board Community and Social Development Project Additional financing which commenced since 2015.
“Akwa Ibom State Government conducted social-economic survey and carried out the ranking of local government areas poverty-wise within the 31 local government areas.
“From the 1st of January, 2015 to 11th October, 2018, the state agency has facilitated the completion of 166 micro projects for which the sum of N525,873,425.44 was disbursed into the benefiting communities. In addition to the above, 55 micro projects are on-going and in their various stages of completion for which the sum of N99,262,271.36 has been disbursed during the period under review.
“Furthermore, the sum of N39,279,183.52 was also disbursed to communities for the completion. Of micro projects carried over from the original CSDP while the sum of N12,470,752.60 was disbursed to three gender and vulnerable groups to implement their live-touching micro projects and Social safety net.
“Therefore, the total sum of N676,884,632.92 has so far been spent by the government to touch the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the poorest of the poor communities in Akwa Ibom State,” he said
Also speaking, the General Manager, Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) Mr.Ishmael Akpan called on project implementors in each benefiting communities to improve on their skills for better performance.
“The Community development Plan cycle allows for 12 months for benefiting communities to complete their preferred projects as stipulated in the agreed financing agreement between the state agency and the benefiting communities.
“Benefiting communities and relevant stakeholders should strengthen their implementation skills, best practices and experience sharing for improved and accelerated performance.” He said.
Mr Akpan who commended the 10 benefiting communities, presented with an award and certificate for executing their preferred project, urged other benefiting communities who are yet to complete their project to work harder to ensure that such projects are completed within the stipulated time.
He also advised the project implementors to avoid mis-appropriation of funds so as not to hinder the growth and development in their communities.