Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has sought partnership to harness the rich petroleum resources to engender economic development of the state.
Eno stated this when he received the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo in his office in Uyo, the state capital.
He lauded President Bola Tinubu for his inclusive disposition and for appointing Akwa Ibomites into different positions of service.
He reiterated his resolve to run an inclusive governance devoid of political party, tribal or allied sentiments, stressing that party is basically a platform to contest elections, after which governance takes the centre stage for service to the people.
Governor Eno who said the state contributes significantly to the national revenue, noted however, that there was no commensurate presence of the Federal Government in the state.
He noted that the appointment of Ekpo and subsequent assignment to the Ministry of State Petroleum Resources (Gas) was apt and probably intended to help facilitate the necessary development to the state.
The governor, who has evidently been inclusive in his approach to governance, assurred the Minister that the state would work with him in utmost good faith and work across political lines to deliver devidence of democracy to Akwa Ibom people.
Earlier in his address, the Minister appreciated the Governor for the warm reception given him and his team, saying that the visit was basically to do courtesy to the Governor before proceeding for his thanksgiving service.
He said it was the first time he was coming to the state since his appointment, hence he deemed it necessary to pay homage to the Governor, whom he said has been very warm and welcoming in his disposition.
While calling on the Governor and the state in general to support him to succeed, he prayed that as previous governors successfully served the state, Governor Eno would serve out his term in good health.
In a related development, Eno has expressed the readiness of his administration to partner the Federal Government for enhanced power sector infrastructure and improved supply in the state and country in general.
Governor Eno made this known during an interaction with a delegation of the Senate Committee on Power and members of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo.
He stressed that the state government was willing and ready to partner the Federal Government to ensure offtake of power generated from the Ibom Power Plant to benefit the citizenry and the nation.
Governor Eno noted that power wasl critical to the socio-economic development of a nation and advocated urgent measures to improve power supply in the country.
According to him, “I believe we can do better with our power system, but a lot has to do with the Federal Government. If the Federal Government gives us the leeway to do it and with a promise to refund, then we can begin to think of it. But we’ll like to work together because we need to get those permission to be able to link these things up, so that we won’t need to get into too much talk after the process. At the end of the day, it will be to the benefit of our people and then to Nigeria.
“Power is something that is dear to our heart; so the work that you are doing needs to be encouraged because without power, we cannot really do anything and the economy cannot move forward.”
He expressed gratitude over the return visit of the Senators barely few weeks after the just concluded Senate retreat in the state, adding that the preference of Akwa Ibom for conferences and retreats has put the state on its toes to improve on facilities to retain the confidence of such high profile visitors.
He said, “We are delighted at the increasing interest in our state for conferences, retreats and others. It behoves us to ensure that our facilities continue to be topnotch.”
Governor Eno described the synergy between the Senate Committee on Power and NERC as healthy for the power sector, indicating that both arms will be on the same page for enactments and regulatory policies.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said that he was in the state for a three-day retreat, and expressed satisfaction with the choice of Uyo for the retreat, as against earlier plans for locations outside the country.
He noted that previous retreats of the body were held at Ghana, Morocco and other locations outside the country, noting that after the last Senate retreat in Akwa Ibom, they realised that Akwa Ibom has quality facilities sufficient for their engagement.
Abaribe therefore, commended Governor Eno for his purposeful leadership and attributed the pace of development in the state to continuum in leadership.
He assured of the National Assembly’s disposition to make enactments that will favour a robust partnership between the state and Federal Government for efficiency of the power sector.