Akwa Ibom State Government in collaboration with World Bank has presented a cheque of N10 million each to 10 communities in the state.
The 10 benefiting communities are Eyehedia Ikot Otuk and Otung community in Ini LGA, Edem Ekpat and Ikot Nkang community in Etinan LGA, Ata Ikot Inyang community in Etinan LGA, Ukana Ikot Ekon and Ikot Ekpenyong community in Essien Udim LGA, Ekpenyong Ufom community in Essien Udim LGA, Anua Ekeya community in Okobo LGA, Kampa and Emere-Oke in Eastern Obolo LGA.
The cheque was given during a Two-Days Training Program of Community Project Management Committee members and other Community Stakeholders, which was held in Uyo recently..
Speaking during the programme, Mr Akan Okon, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Economics Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, stated that the disbursed fund would help the benefiting communities to execute micro projects and Social infrastructure that would enhance the well-being of Akwa Ibom people.
He hinted that the State Government, under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel is aimed at transforming rural communities through life touching micro projects.
“This event is a very important event and it is my expectations that all of you would take this training serious. In Akwa Ibom State today, you have a governor that is very passionate about the development of the state.
Governor Emmanuel believes that Akwa Ibom people should not beg for a living. He believes that opportunity should be created for Akwa Ibom people to work and earn a living.
“I want to appreciate His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his vision, commitment and magnanimity to transform the rural communities in Akwa Ibom State, touch the lives of the poor and give voice to the less privileged.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel made a social contract with the good people of Akwa Ibom State referred to as the completion agenda. This meeting therefore marks the delivery on that promise as 200 participants including youths, women and the adults from the 10 benefiting communities will undergo intensive training on the relevant skills and competences for effective projects implementation.
“The state government contributed #89,876,484 and the communities contributed #9,985,276. The total cost for the implementation is #99,852,760,” he said.
The commissioner urged stakeholders of the benefiting communities to ensure that they implement and execute their projects as it would attract more development to their respective communities.
“The way you implement this project in your various community would serve as an encouragement for the state government and World Bank to do more. I want to employ all of you to make sure that the money released to you for the micro project is used for that purpose,” he added
Also speaking, Mr Ishmael Akpan, the General Manager, Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, stated that the training would enable stakeholders of the benefiting communities to have the necessary skills and knowledge to manage the disbursed funds during implementation of the micro projects.
He said “The training is properly designed, packaged and will be carefully handled by qualified and experienced personnel to effectively inform and guide the community people in their implementation process. Funding is made directly to the community people who utilize it in the execution of their micro projects prudently and in a transparent and accountable manner”.
Mr Akpan who advised stakeholders to enlighten those at the grassroots on the need to participate in the project implementation, added that involvement of everyone in the community would create an atmosphere of enthusiasm, commitment, collaboration and sustainability of the project provided for use by all.
He further commended the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his passion in reducing poverty among the vulnerable and less privileged in the society.
Earlier in a paper presentation, Mrs Ofonime Ukpe who spoke on the theme “Conflict Management in Communities” stressed the need for residents of the benefiting communities to avoid conflict during implementation of their preferred projects.
According to her, conflict leads to abandonment of projects as well as slows down development in the affected community.
She said “Work in unity. Avoid conflict because conflict leads to abandonment of projects. Conflict, if not managed leads to war in a community. Try to tolerate one another’s differences so that the projects can be completed”.
One of the beneficiaries from Ikot Ekpenyong community in Essien Udim LGA, Mrs Justina Sunday thanked the State Government and World Bank for reaching out to the less privileged in Akwa Ibom State.
She said “Those that have been there in my community knows the condition of our livelihood. So, for someone to bring in a project like borehole and renovation of town hall to our community, is a great relief to us because a lot of us have suffered for so long due to lack of water and other important things. We are grateful to the state government and world bank.”