“Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.” ― Steve Goodier

“We should have high importance and have a sense of urgency to do our part in being excellent stewards of our environment.” ― Janna Cachola

My dearly beloved people of Uyo, this is the essence of this interactive meeting.

On December 3, 2018, I was privileged and honoured to be elected as the Executive Chairman to lead a remarkable and blessed group of men, women, youths and children for a period of three years. I am confident that by His grace and with your support the journey has been going on very well.”

We came into office at a very challenging period in the history of this country Church –we are stronger together.

In my inaugural speech on December 7 2017, I boldly declared that the cardinal principle of: Responsibility, Transparency and Accountability would be the fulcrum of my administration. This will be built on the blue print of Robust Empowerment and Rural Development, Improved IGR for Wealth Creation, Active Social Welfare and Educational/Health services as well as Renewed Partnership for Good Governance.

The principle of responsibility, transparency and accountability has been the bedrock of our financial dealings and indeed the activities of this administration.

Effective Stewardship contains key recommendations builds on changes already made.

For us to maintain Uyo as a land of greatness this report will also highlight some of the challenges we have encountered and as a people and together we will make suggestions on way forward.

Today, I will resist the temptation of putting up another campaign but rather to bench mark our blue print with our achievements for the period under consideration (365 days).

1. ROBUST EMPOWERMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community, our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, mainly for their sake and not for our sake.” Cesar charez.

(a) Mentorship – Over 600 Persons benefited through Seminar /Workshop by Boys Brigade, Office of the First Lady, FrankRose Foundation Social Welfare Unit of Uyo L.G., Green-nation and Value Chain Services and other Professional Bodies.

(b) Entrepreneurship – 109

(c) Co-Operative – 3

(d) Skills Acquisition – 286

(e) Scholarship/Grant – 128

(f) General Empowerment – 314

(g) Rural Development

(i) Road Grading – 4

(ii) Electrification With Street Light – 1

(iii) Mechanized Farm Project – 2

(iv) Portable Water – 1

(v) Agro Allied Industry – 1

(Cassava Processing Mill – Ongoing)

2. IMPROVED INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE (IGR) FOR WEALTH CREATION

“It is a sound principle of finance, and a still sounder principle of government, that those who have duty of expending the revenue of a country should also be saddled with the responsibility of levying and providing it.” Wilfred Laurier

* Establishment of Uyo Revenue/Investment Committee

* Review of bye laws

* Introduction of Bank payment system for revenue collections

* Enhancement of security/other services and Restructuring in Akpan Andem Market

* Regular monitoring and evaluation

2015 – 2018 IGR Chart

3. ACTIVE HEALTH, EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL SERVICE WELFARE

(A) Health

(i) Renovation of Primary Health Centres

(ii) Provision of Drugs, Deep Freezer Etc

(iii) Acquisition of over #10million worth of Medical Equipment and Consumables

(iv) Health Awareness/Sensitization Activities

(v) Intensive Monthly Sanitation and Weekly Health Enforcement Exercises, Culminating in the Cleanest LG in Aks

(vi) Establishment of Sanitation Committee/Ndiong Idung Scheme

(vii) Support for the Pregnant/Nursing Mother’s Empowerment Programme organized by the Wives of the PDP Chapter Chairmen in Uyo Senatorial District.

(viii) Cancer Awareness/Health Walk in Collaboration with the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Branch to mark the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

(B) Education:

(i) Establishment of Adult Education Centre

(ii) Payment of fees, provision of WAEC/NECO/JAMB forms, payment of research grant

(iii) Payment of Jamb form for indigenes Of Uyo Local Government Area

(iv) Sponsorship of 5 Children from various Clans in Uyo for Girl Child Academy.

(C) Social Welfare:

(i) Support to Student Bodies, Churches, CBOs and NGOs

(ii) Sensitization Seminars / Workshops on under aged parenthood, cultism Etc.

(iii) Active participation and sponsorship of sport activities, 2nd Price at 2018 AKS Youth Sport Festival.

(iv) Enhance Welfare Packages, concerns to Staff, and Political Offices Holders, NYSC Members Etc.

(v) First ever family Christmas party organized by the office of the Wife of the Chairman for all staff of the Local Government Area, their spouses and children and distribution of school materials to school pupil.

(vi) Familiarization meeting with Women Leaders, Stakeholders and non-indigenes for assessment and rebuilding of women structure Uyo Local Government.

(vii) Visit to Motherless Babies Home, St. Luke Hospital, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and payment of Hospital Bills to patient in celebration of the 48th birthday of the Wife of the Executive Governor, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel.

(viii) 2018 Valentine Day Celebration with Staff of Uyo Local Government Council

(ix) Mobilization of Uyo Women for participation on 2018 International Women’s Day Celebration

(x) Support for the Hosting of the National Women’s Fellowship, United Evangelical Church (Founded as Qua Iboe)

(x) Commissioning of the “Feed My Lamb” Programe Initiated by the United Evangelical Church (Qua Iboe Church) Ukan Offot Street with a one year monthly support for the programme.

4. RENEWED PARTNERSHIP FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

“Unity is Strength….When there is Team Work and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek.

(a) Integration/Support to Non Indigenes, Faith, Community and Non-Governmental Organizations (FBOs, CBOs, NGOs) as Well as Professional Bodies

(b) Political inclusion as witnesses in all the events of council

(c) Cordial working relationship with other tiers of Government, as evidenced in the Hosting Midas activities

(d) Hosting of first ever Uyo Economic/Political Summit on 18/1/2018 while the Second Edition is loading for 18/1/2019. Also, today the Economic and Political Summit Group will be inaugurated as a Standing Committee of Council.

(e) Massive mobilization of over 500 Women for the Endorsement of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Second Term by Uyo Senatorial District Women (USDW)

(f) Mobilization of over 1000 Women for Governor Udom Emmenuel Endorsement Rally

(g) Support and Mobilization of Women and Youth for the 5000-Man Solidarity March for Udom Emmanuel 2019 by Akwa Ibom indigenes in Lagos

(h) Mobilization of over 2000 Uyo Women in a show of solidarity for the acceptance and declaration to run for a second term of our hardworking Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

(i) Sponsorship of 4 Women to the NCWS 5- Day Conference in Abuja.

(j) Sponsorship of 4 Women for the Food Fair Exhibition Organized by NCWS in Abuja.

OTHERS

1. SECURITY

* Engagement of Private Security outfit to complement the Nigeria Police and Council Security Staff at the Council Premises

* Inauguration of the Peace and Security Committee

* Boosting of the security network at Akpan Andem Market, Ibom Plaza etc

* Hosting of regular Security Meetings

* Creation of an Intelligence Desk at the Executive Chairman’s Office.

2. SALARIES/BASIC ALLOWNCES:

* Salaries are paid promptly to staff as we are not owing any staff

* Regular payment of Monthly up-keep to the Traditional Rulers Council.

3. Reclaiming of the Council Landed Property behind the Primary Health Care Centre along Wellington Bassey Way

4. GENERAL EMPOWERMENT

* I have 35 Personal Aides

* 53 Revenue Ad-hoc Staff

* 17 Revenue and Investment Committee Members

* 7 Members of the Market Management Committee

* 10 Task Force Members

* 24 Contractors

* 17 Sanitation Staff

* 17 Ticketers

3 Staff at the Market Management Secretariat

As a natural and functional system, we are not without challenges, some of which include:

1. The heavy wage bill from senior staff especially from the Health Department who deliberately lobby their posting to Uyo LGA.

2. The lack of corporation by some business outlets especially those owned by Uyo people in the prompt payment of their rates.

3. The attitude of some of our youths who prefer to beg throughout their lives than learn a trade even when the trade training is all expense paid.

4. Some of our youths still live a live of competition even when their income cannot carry, you can imagine an applicant carrying 2 mobile phones and each phone costing about N100,000.00 or more.

5. The negative mindset of our people towards dependence on the LG council for all their personal needs, you can imagine a situation where a single person seeks financial support from the LG council for his academics, after graduation same person comes for another assistance to get married, after marriage, same person comes back to the LG Council for financial support for the medical bills of the wife’s delivery of each of his 3-4 children and still seeks financial support from the LG Council for the school fees of his 3-4 children. Same fellow will still seek financial assistance from the LG Council for the funeral of his late father, mother and sometimes grand parents too, both from his own family and that of the wife – indeed this is worrisome.

6. Touting around Ibom Plaza and Akpan Andem Market despite several efforts to pull them off the heinous crime.

7. Poor Allocation to Local Government Councils and the dwindling revenue

8. Negative action of our people towards change and constant opposition of new ideas that are designed to move us forward.

9. The negative actions and lack of respect for Government and constituted authorities by Youth Associations, Village Councils etc.

The above and many more are some of the challenges we have been battling with and we are very optimistic that we shall conquer ultimately.

1. Continuous engagement/investment in Skill Acquisition/Training by ensuring that we handle this in various unbreakable chains/phases of the exercise.

2. Total war against thuggery and cultism.

3. Investment in Agriculture

4. Continuous ethical and attitudinal reorientation through the Social Welfare Department of the Uyo Local Government Council and other agencies of the State.

5. Organization of Solemn Assemblies and other religious programmes periodically and rotationally.

6. The above and many more are antidotes we intend to use to save our society from moral decadence and ethical collapse.

CONCLUSION

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”……Psalms 127:1

The above scripture is a clear description of our absolute dependence on God for everything and I am pleased to inform you all the He has never failed us once and we are very optimistic that He will not fail us at this point nor in the future.

This, however does not negate the fact that we must work hard to provoke the Hand of God to hasten in performance of all that He has promised.

Words will fail me in appreciating the Almighty God for His Mighty Hands in my life, that of my team and in this administration generally. But like that one leper, I have returned to give all to give God all the Glory for Great things he has done and for Greater things that he will do.

I want to specially appreciate my dear wife Deaconess Idaresit Imoh Okon and my family members for their support, encouragement and prayers which has helped me to move on successfully on this assignment.

Please join me to celebrate my boss and my mentor, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State – His Excellency Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, a man of peace, a seasoned technocrat with a high and undisputed level of integrity and fear of God. I remain eternally grateful to him and his dear wife for the love, trust and confidence reposed in me as a brother and co-labourer in the mission of “PROJECT AKWA IBOM”.

Let me also appreciate the political stakeholders of Uyo across party lines for the wide acceptability that I have enjoyed since the beginning of this journey. I doff my cap for the leadership and entire membership of my great party the PDP for having found me worthy to wear this cap for now out of many others.

Worthy of appreciation also is the Management/Staff, Executive and Legislature of Uyo Local Government who have all been good and dependable partners which has resulted in what we have here today.

I will not fail to acknowledge the co-operation that we have enjoyed from our Royal Fathers, the Security Agencies, the Non-Indigenous Community and the Press – to mention but a few. You have all been wonderful.

It is my prayers that God would continue to give me grace to provide you with quality leadership devoid of sentiments and other selfish tendencies that may not allow us to grow as a people.

Please permit me to state here very categorically that Politics will always come and go, but we will always forever remain Uyo sons and daughters.

I do not want to overbear you with the constant re-echoing of the fact that we came into governance with the promise of changing the game for a more result-oriented pattern. It may hurt for awhile, but we will sure smile in the end.

Originally, it would not have been my intention to dole out the list of our achievements in the past 365 days, but we are constrained to name a few just for the purpose of thanking God for His Mighty Hands in our affairs as a Local Government.

We had to highlight all of the above just to add up to the list that we gave you in our first 100 days in office and subsequently the ones that have just been displayed in regards to our 9 months in office.

Let me end by apologizing to those who may have been hurt by my actions or inactions in the course our administration in the last one year. Sincerely those actions or inaction were not intended to hurt by any means, but they were unavoidable steps we had to take in order to move us forward as a Local Government.

I want us to see “PROJECT UYO” above individual interest and party lines. Politics will come and go, but Uyo Local Government as a people will remain. Therefore let us approach the forthcoming elections with the understanding that it is God that appoints Kings and He gives power to whom He will.

There should be no violence nor bloodshed because we are all brothers and sisters of the same parentage.

Let me thank you all for coming and for listening to me.

I wish you all a merry Christmas in Advance and a 2019 full of Peace, Prosperity and Joy.

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