An Uyo based Business Development Consultant Mr. Aniekan Johnson, has expressed reservation at what he described as slow pace of development as Akwa Ibom turns 32.

FriendlyNews gathered from the Ibesikpo Asutan born Socioeconomic Development Strategist, during an interview session earlier today in Uyo, that today’s era is not industrial but innovation, creativity and artificial intelligence.

Mr. Johnson also gave reasons for his reservations as follows:

  1. At 32 there are no public schools offering our children – OUR ONLY HOPE for the future qualitative education. Not enough teachers , no infrastructures.
  2. At 32 over 80% of those within the active age bracket ( the strength of our today) have no decent jobs despite having warehoused over 15 industries – if indeed there are.
  3. At 32 about 90% of our communities are still rural with citizens having no access to healthcare and prevalent high insecurity despite the huge monthly security votes to the Governor in addition to regular federal security aparatus.
  4. At 32 the vast majority of our people especially those in the about 90% rural communities have no access to basic healthcare that’s despite the about 400 primary healthcare facilities said to be dotting the state.
  5. At 32 about 90% of citizens live below poverty line and thats despite being the highest oil revenue earner with a N17 billion naira average monthly income in about a decade now.
  6. At 32 the HIV prevalence rates, other preventable health conditions like hepatitis, malaria and maternal deaths are still highest that’s despite the huge intervention funds/resources from donor agencies both home and abroad in addition to annual budgetary provision .
  7. At 32 non of our agricultural products or otherwise is contributing to the global market or quoted in stocks market anywhere thats despite the comparative advantage with abundance of cash crops like palm oil even with CBN agriculture intervention funds on offer.
  8. At 32 there are no SMEs’ positives to economic development that’s despite her foreign direct investment attraction and investments drive. SMEs are live wire for sustainability of FDIs.
  9. At 32 almost every residential community in the state is being unabatedly washed away by erosion, flooding and other environmental degradation, that’s despite ExxonMobil’s and other agency’s annual contribution to contending such environmental hazards.
  10. At 32 the 31 Local Government’s funds is still preyed upon by State’s executives thereby rendering the actual people’s communities completely bereft of development.
  11. At 32 some section of the state are taken over by hoodlums and cultists killing, maiming , raping and terrorising citizens right in their homes that’s despite huge budgetary claims of assitance by state Government to the security agencies.
  12. At 32 most of the Local Government areas are not linked making movement of goods and services that would have enhance commerce almost impossible, that’s despite that Akwa Ibom unlike states like Borno is less than 9000SqKm total area with huge annual budgets on road projects.
  13. At 32 even the core oil producing communities in the state are streaked literally from development that’s despite that with 13% derivation from Federal Government, a specific percentage is legally designated for projects within the oil producing communities.
  14. At 32 we have no data on the over 200 oil and gas service companies operating offshore and onshore Akwa Ibom yet to comply with the local content laws of the land depriving our youths decent jobs and business opportunities.
  15. At 32 the State Government shows no interest in supporting our undergraduate students either through scholarship, bursary or any other form of assistance even to those on professional or specialty courses.
  16. At 32 we are yet to draw up a remedial or development plan for socioeconomic development of the state especially as we approach the post oil era.
  17. At 32 we are still owing pensioners their gratuity and pensions that’s despite budgetary provision alongside opportunity for the state to key into the federal Government’s authorised contributory pension scheme addressing such challenges.
  18. At 32 our streets are still blemished with school age children hawking all day that’s despite Government’s claim to free and compulsory education for our children
  19. At 32 basic amenities like decent drinking water is still a delusion despite huge annual budgetary provision.
  20. At 32 there are no working emergency services anywhere be it flood related, fire or accidents of any sort, not even emergency services for the elderly.

There are upto 32 strong enough reasons bewildering celebration but again…..

I’m already convinced about the objectives with your creation on the 23rd of September 1987 even though 32 years on I’m not certain about your freedom.

I am firm in seeking liberty from your hecklers and untill then am only contrived at your celebration.