My topmost manifesto priority will be to address the twin challenges of mass unemployment and poverty with massive investment in public works by rebuilding public facilities and expanding the State’s stock of hard infrastructure. Also, we will adopt and implement APC’s very successful conditional cash transfer schemes, empower the youths with training and funding to function as Transformative Entrepreneurs and launch a number of other initiatives to drive growth and create opportunities for all. Every investment must be employment sensitive.
For quick impact within the first 100 – 180 days in office, my administration will:
- Embark on massive public works to reflate the economy, create jobs and put money in the pocket of artisans, suppliers, and contractors.
- Flag off conditional cash transfers of N5,000 to the extreme poor, N5,000 to orphans, N100,000 per delivery for multiple birth mothers and N5,000 for the physically challenged, in addition to their participation in a skill acquisition programme.
- Empowerment training and funding for transformative entrepreneurs
- Roll out the Graduate Farmers Scheme and other agricultural programmes
- Address all outstanding pensions, gratuities, Local Government workers’ salaries, primary school teacher’s entitlements and allowances.
- Domesticate key Federal Government economic programmes like the MSME Clinic, the Bank of Industry sponsored GEEP project, Anchor Borrowers Programme, and NIRSAL.
On a longer term, my Administration will launch the following programmes and policy actions:
- Launch a N20 billion fund to raise a critical mass of transformative entrepreneurs (TEs) who will use creativity and innovation to grow the private sector and create wealth. About 6,000 TEs will be produced and empowered every year (24,000 in four years) to stimulate the economy and create no less than 120,000 jobs.
- Restructure and recapitalise AKICORP with N50 billion and reposition it to leverage up to N500 billion of private sector funds to promote and attract investments in oil and gas, agriculture, health, tourism, aviation, manufacturing, and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) into the State.
- Create an Enterprise Development Fund, EDF and seed it with N5 billion annually to provide collateral-free, single digit loans to SMEs.
- Undertake a number of initiatives in agriculture to create jobs, engage our young people and promote our drive towards self-sufficiency in food production. Our initiatives will include:
- Establishment of Commodities Trading Cooperatives (CTC) to promote and manage trades in export commodities like palm produce, rubber, cassava value chain, rice, and aquaculture.
- Launch a Graduate Farmers Scheme and promote the participation of 500 youths from each of the 31 Local Government Areas or 15,500 per annum in farming and as extension agents.
- Set up three model Songhai Farms in the State
- Launch Community Farming Initiatives (CFIs) under which we will have the following:
- Community Fishing Development Initiatives
- Community Food Crop Production Initiatives and Community Cash Crop Development Initiative.
- Massive oil palm production through large-scale replanting of high-yielding seeds and distribution of short duration cultivars to replace and eventually phase out low yielding ones.
- Aim to make Akwa Ibom one of the top rice growing States in Nigeria.
- TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: We will State to harness its tourism potential to attract domestic, foreign visitors and investors. The State’s extensive coastline will be developed for its tourism potential and all existing hospitality infrastructure such as the Ibom Hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton, the Tropicana Entertainment Complex, and the Ibom Unity Park will be put to optimal use. As part of our tourism development programme, we will launch an aggressive programme to promote our Akwa Ibom Cuisines across Nigeria and the world like the Chinese, Indians, and Mexicans have done.