By Raymond Adebayo
June 8, 2023, 8:49 p.m.
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State, on Thursday, said his administration will work with President Bola Tinubu to secure as many benefits for the people of his state from the federal government.
Eno who revealed this to State House Correspondents after he met President Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, said his State needs federal intervention to develop its infrastructure.
The new governor said though he is of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, he cannot afford to work apart from the federal government.
“Politics is over and governance has started,” he said.
He explained that “There are lots of things we expect from the federal government and it’s only with that cooperation that we can work together and achieve the common good, whatever I know I can do, to bring the dividends of democracy to my people, I will do it.”
Eno noted that he has so many plans for his people but cannot achieve them by working at variance with the President.
“We came to visit with the President, to congratulate him on the election and his swearing-in and to pledge our support, our commitment, and our loyalty to the President and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, Akwa Ibom is an integral part of Nigeria and we have to work with the federal government to ensure that Akwa Ibomites will see the benefits of democracy and we cannot do that if we work standing apart.
“And so we came to visit with the president like I said, to congratulate him and pledge our support to work with him and our commitment as a state so that Akwa Ibomite will derive the full benefit of democracy,” he explained.
Some of the areas where his state required federal intervention include the Calabar-Itu road, Ibom Deep Seaport, export license, and free trade zone for Calabar airport.
He said operating its airline, Ibom Air, the state government plans to build its capacity to import spare parts and overhaul aircraft too.
“We talked about the road you have just mentioned, the Calabar-Itu road. We will need the President to help us intervene and let’s get that finished on the road.
“We talked about our Ibom deep seaport. We will need the president to also intervene and let’s get the Seaport. I also mentioned to him the export license, the free zone for our airport, so that for the maintenance, repairs, and overhauling facility there, we will be able to bring in spare parts to service the airplanes.
“These are strategic partnerships that we want with the federal government. So, I talked about it and he has promised to look into it, and I believe him” Eno said.
The governor also discussed the distribution of palliatives to mitigate the effects of subsidy discontinuance, with plans for further initiatives to support indigenes.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), my deputy governor distributed some palliatives to all the local governments. And as I go back, I’m scheduled to have a meeting with all the petroleum marketers in Akwa Ibom.
“So, we’re looking at those ways whatever we need to do. And the President has directed that state governors, of course, should work on palliatives for the citizenry.
“We will do just that. There are several things and as we get into early next week if you focus on Akwa Ibom, you will see various things we are going to put in place to support our people and shield them from the effects of the subsidy removal,” he said.