By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship’s candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Obong Nsima Ekere has said that if voted into office, he will within 180 days flag off conditional cash transfers of N5,000 to the extreme poor, N5, 000 to orphans in the state
Ekere who unveiled the package yesterday in Uyo while presented his manifesto also promised to pay N100, 000 per delivery for multiple birth mothers and embark on a skill acquisition programme for physically challenged.
The APC governorship hopeful who stated that Akwa Ibom people deserved better than what they are currently getting from the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel promised a complete turnaround in education, health, infrastructure, rural development, jobs, wealth creation, and security.
He said his administration will focus on five areas: economic prosperity; infrastructure and rural development; education, health and social protection; security; governance and institutional reforms.
“I will address the twin challenges of mass unemployment and poverty with massive investment, noting that according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 1.8 million out of the 3.3 million economically active population of the state is unemployed and revive Akwa Palm within six months in office.
“I will work with governors of neighbouring states and the federal government to ensure that roads within and into the state were constructed, adding that he would resume work on the Uyo – Ikot Ekpene road, Ibom Tropicana Entertainment complex and implement the science park project”, he added
On the bursary to students, Obong Ekere said he would increase support for students in tertiary institutions by raising student bursary from N5, 000 to N25, 000 per session, as well as convene a summit of stakeholders and experts to discuss the progress of the education sector.
Because of the unique importance of education as knowledge is power, Obong Ekere said his administration will computerize the teaching and learning process in schools in the state
He also promised to restore financial autonomy to the local governments and adopt zero based budgeting in place of envelope style budgeting and restructure the civil service as well as review the master plan of the state in line with current realities, adding that he would convene a security council meeting on conflict in border communities.
He said he is the man to be trusted to take the state to greater heights, build bridges of hope and bring real peace and healing to conflict areas within the state.
He said his administration would be interactive and inclusive, and appealed to the people of the state to vote for him, adding that their thumb print is what would bring him to power.
The party flag bearer further assured the people saying, “Within the first 100-180 days in office, my administration will embark on massive public works to reflect the economy, create jobs and put money in the pocket of artisans, suppliers, and contractors.
“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,” he said.