Calls for proper utilization of 13% derivation
By Gabriel Ewepu
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Dan Abia and other party stakeholders from Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, in Akwa Ibom State, Monday, scored President Muhammadu Buhari, and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator God’swill Akpabio, high following performance and impact they have made on the citizenry.
They scored the duo at a meeting chaired by Abia at Akpautong, Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, which was a maiden summit with the theme, ‘An Interactive Stakeholders Meeting’, which had in attendance of Her Honour (Lady) Valerie Ebe, Arch Otu Ita Otoyo, Hon. Effiong Johnson, Engr. Ben Ukpong, Pastor (Barr) Ulaeto, Pst Udoh Isaiah, lady Glory Williams, Bishop Ette E. Ette, representative of chapter chairmen forum, APC Vice Chairman, Dr Inyang Abia, APC and Caretaker Committee Chairman, Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, and other stakeholders in the senatorial district.
The essence of the summit was to create an atmosphere where party chieftains in the State could interact and form a formidable force, and it also gave room for them to assess the impact of the Buhari-led administration in the State.
The Chairman of the Summit, Sir Dan Abia (KJW), commended Buhari over notable appointments of sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District into his government including the appointment of Effiong Akwa as Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and also thanked Akpabio for the decision to appoint a well-deserved person like Akwa to oversee the affairs of the Commission.
Abia also called on leaders and people of the Niger Delta region to support him (Akwa) rather than being an opposition but to make sure he changes the narrative in the region as expected while he remains in office.
Being also a former Managing Director of the Commission and current South-South Representative, Nigeria Law Reform Commission, further stated that his (Akwa) appointment should be accepted as it came at the “right time and is legal”.
He also asserted that he (Akawa) is an experienced, tested, and trusted public administrator who served diligently under him as MD of the Commission,
According to him (Abia) Akwa is not the first person appointed a Sole Administrator of NDDC based on the history and establishment of the Commission, which he condemned protests and agitations by some citizens from the region, and called for peace and understanding by the people of the Niger Delta region.
He further asserted that Akwa Ibom State being the largest producer of crude oil in Nigeria currently deserves one of her sons to be appointed SA of the Commission should be supported and encouraged to perform his duties.
Meanwhile, the APC stalwart tasked leaders and stakeholders of the party to ensure unity of the senatorial district.
While declaring the summit opened, Dr Inyang Abia, called for unity and focus amongst party loyalists in the senatorial district, while commending Buhari for his response to curtail the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“I wish in the first instance to commend and appreciate HE, President Muhammadu Buhari for the astute management of the pandemic through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 that has provided direction and assistance in the containment of the pandemic.
“I wish to further commend President Buhari for effectively stirring the ship of state despite the global economic down-turn, sensitive insecurity, End SARS protest, and unpatriotic conspiracies of the opposition to rock the ship of state.
“We in APC, Eket Senatorial District, nay Akwa Ibom state appreciates Mr. President for giving Eket Senatorial District and Akwa Ibom state her pride of place as a major oil-producing state as reflected in the regular payments of accrued statutory revenue in that regard and appointment of the state indigenes into strategic positions in the Federal Government.
“Particular mention must be made of the recent appointment of Barr. Effiong Akwa as the Sole Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); HE, Senator Godswill Akpabio (CON), Hon. Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; Senator Ita Enang, SSA to the President, Niger Delta Affairs; Mr. Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director/CEO, Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority; Sir Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia, Federal Commissioner 1, Nigeria Law Reform Commission; Engr. Benedict Ukpong, FNSE, Hon. Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission; Senator J. J. Akpanudoedehe (Ph.D), National Secretary, APC CTC and a host of others.”
Other speakers including Valerie Ebe, Arch Otu Ita Otoyo, Hon. Effiong Johnson, Engr. Ben Ukpong, Pastor Ulaeto, Pastor Udoh Isaiah, Lady Glory Williams, Bishop Ette E. Ette, called on Governor Edom Emmanuel to properly utilize the 13 per cent derivation accrued the state to be channeled towards the development of oil-producing communities in Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, and added that being the part of the state that ‘lays the golden eggs’ deserves more attention and not sheer neglect.
They also spoke and pointed the need for a reward system in the party that cuts across all members of the party including steadfastness and confidence of members in the party no matter their situation currently.
They called for a thorough mobilization of the people in the senatorial district ahead of the forthcoming party registration and effective preparation before the 2023 general elections in the State.