The development roadmap of the gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom State, Distinguished Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, has been adjudged as the best and germane for the state.
Taking a critical assessment of Senator Albert’s blueprint for the state, Professor Emmanuel Akpan of the Banking and Finance Department, University of Calabar; Prof. Otoabasi Akpan, a Developmental Scholar and Professor of African History; and Dr Asuquo Anwana of the Akwa Ibom State University said his programmes are very insightful, practical and good to be implemented.
The academics noted that his roadmap for the state which revolves around five strategic pillars namely: Economic Prosperity and Infrastructural Renaissance; Security, Environment and Tourism; Agriculture and Rural Development; Education, Health, and Social Services; Administrative Reforms and Completion of Projects are in tandem with best practices.
Prof Emmanuel Akpan in his submission noted that having perused the document, he found out that it has addressed and fashioned a way out of the economic quagmire.
He described as laudable, OBA’s plan to propel the state into economic prosperity by reducing poverty by at least 30 per cent in four years, creating industrial clusters to help curtail importation of finished and semi-finished goods from neighbouring states which takes up to 50 per cent of the income generated in the state.
According to him, such a blueprint, if implemented, can make the state become a boisterous economy which attracts genuine Foreign Direct Investment given the self-sustaining and favourable economic climate in place.
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Prof Otoabasi Akpan observed that by making a firm promise to jumpstart the economy and engender an infrastructural renaissance, the blueprint has made provision for an expected population boom in the state
Other areas highlighted as germane Prof. Akpan are the plan to enhance the expansion of infrastructure in power, transportation, aviation and housing.
On security, the academic don hailed the plan of instituting a security trust fund and also legally corroborating with and absorbing unemployed persons into the security architecture, and sharpening their skill set to enhance efficiency and productivity.
This he said would effectively arrest unemployment which he said inhibits development.
In a nutshell, Prof Otoabasi Akpan asserted that the blueprint aligns with the globally accepted Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Asuquo Anwana, on his part, labelled the blueprint as a document which encapsulates the roadmap to Akwa Ibom’s socio-economic liberation.
He particularly hailed plans to revitalize agriculture and rural development taking cognizance that 80 per cent of Akwa Ibom people reside in rural communities.
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“An agro-driven economy will revitalize the rural areas because the majorly all farming activities take place there. With this, agriculture in the rural areas would be elevated from subsistence to mechanized level,” he explained.
He continued, “the plan to increase funding of the educational sector near the UNESCO recommended 15 to 20 per cent in and fund research is very novel in this clime where education is often not given deserved attention. Promising to review and take up projects like the technical audit of some of these projects such as the Ibaka Deep Seaport, and Ibom Science Park also deserves commendation. Those are critical infrastructures that must be revisited as the state yearns for accountability and consolidation of progress built in successive years.”