The Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio has called on various governments in Nigeria and indeed Africa to devote more of their budgetary provisions towards capital and infrastructural projects.
Speaking at the first International convention of Ati Annang, a foremost Akwa Ibom socio-cultural organisation, held in London, on the topic “Addressing Africa’s infrastructural deficit – the Akwa Ibom example, Senator Akpabio noted that during his tenure as the governor of Akwa Ibom State, he consistently budgeted 80 per cent or more for capital expenditure (infrastructure) and 20 per cent or less for recurrent while deploying global practices in project management.
This, the former governor said, made Akwa Ibom State to become a reference point in infrastructure provision and good governance.
Akpabio whose speech was delivered by Barr Aniedi Akpabio enthused that,“we turned a state with a dearth of infrastructure, into a beehive of infrastructural activities, investment hub and a tourist delight”, noting that only through such budgetary provisions can Nigeria and indeed Africa turnaround her infrastructural decay.
Addressing the convention, the International President, Sir Udo Kieran reiterated the organisation’s resolve to continue lending herself as a platform for Annang sons and daughters both home and abroad to render selfless services to their fatherland.
He commended all her chapters in the diaspora for a well packaged convention.
To drive home the organisation’s commitment, Sir Kieran stated that the organization has recently identified opportunities for tertiary institutions in Akwa Ibom State to obtain free on-line educational materials which are used by top global universities. He also noted that a team of professionals among her members abroad shall be arriving the state with a view to identifying points along the value chain where it can partner with the state government to further develop agriculture in the state in line with the current state administration’s policy drive.
The well attended convention was graced by all chapters of the Foundation in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States.
In a communique issued at the end of the convention, the Foundation commended the Deacon Udom Emmanuel-led administration in her efforts to industrialize the state, and pledged to partner the Akwa Ibom State Government in her industrialization drive.
The Foundation offered itself as a ready partner with the administration especially in identifying willing investors for the industrialization drive.
The group further advised the government to ensure equity in the siting of identified industries, infrastructure and other services to ensure even spread of development across the state.
The Foundation re-emphasized it continuous commitment to execute life impacting projects for the benefit of her people, and announced plans to embark on several projects including award of scholarships to deserving indigent students in tertiary institutions, the provision of Back Packs with relevant school materials for pupils in primary schools, provision of diabetes and blood pressure screening and education among others.
Earlier, the Chairman on the occasion, Barr Paul Usoro, SAN commended Ati Annang for her life impacting projects to the less privileged people of our state and urged them to remain focus in delivering on her aims and objectives.
It may be recalled that the Foundation during her last AGM awarded 100 scholarships to students from various tertiary institutions and also donated Back Packs to pupils in over 50 primary schools in the state.