Against insinuations in some quarters that the Akwa Ibom State government has paid its workers the N30, 000 minimum wage stipulated by the Federal Government, the state Commissioner for Information, Communication and Startegy, Mr. Charles Udoh has stated that no such payment has been made.
Speaking on Inspiration FM on Monday, April 29, Mr. Udoh stressed that the payment would be effected as soon as the federal government issues a circular on guidelines and modalities for it.
He therefore asked Akwaibomites to discredit ongoing rumours that the new minimum wage has been effected.
Speaking on the recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rating of Akwa Ibom being the state with highest number of out-of-school children, the Commissioner said: “I don’t want to believe that the statistics by NBS on the number of school dropped-out children in Akwa Ibom is politically motivated. If it is then it’s sad.
There is no reason any child in Akwa Ibom State will not want to go to school as education is free and compulsory in AKS from Primary to Secondary school levels.
Speaking further on the Bureau’s previous rating of Akwa Ibom State is one with highest number of unemployed, the Commissioner averred that: “NBS did not take into account the number of youths working in all the companies operating in the state and those working in the Cassava farms across the state like the farm in Okobo and Coconut plantation in Mkpat Enin which already has 350 youths working there. Again, we have constructed over 1700km of roads with youths working at those construction sites.
We are currently working on Ring Road 3, with so many youths working there. Did NBS count those youths at the rice farm in Ini? No, NBS did not take all those into consideration. Unless NBS was only concerned with data from Civil Service employment. Outside that, then the NBS statistics on the unemployment level in AKS is faulty. It is not correct”, he said.
Amongst other things, Mr. Udoh spoke on the tourism potentials of the state and what it portends for indigenes, visitors and investors. “Tourism is experiencing an upward curve in AKS. Tourism cuts across different sectors. There is Sports-tourism, Education-tourism, Health-tourism and so on.
When you discover that it’s difficult to book a flight in and out of AKS through the Victor Attah International Airport due to huge traffic at the airport by influx of people, it shows tourists and investors are coming into the state in droves. That’s an indication that the state is gradually becoming a tourist destination. Again, there are so many hotels springing up in the state and all are always booked full especially at weekends. A strong illustration of the influx of people into the state. So indeed, tourism is on the upward curve in Akwa Ibom”, he said.