Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called on the apex Law making body in the country to evolve an economic framework that would remould the country’s resources and engender sustainability in the nation’s development and democratic governance.
Governor Emmanuel made the call at the Executive Council Chamber, Government House, Uyo during his interaction with members of the Senate Joint Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill currently on a two- day retreat in the state.
His words : “if the Presidency, National Assembly, Federal House of Representatives, State Governors, State House of Assemblies and Local Government Councils fail to chart a course that would curb unemployment and youth restiveness in the next few years the country would be treading on the tiger’s tail as joblessness triggers violent crimes.”
He appealed to the law makers to close ranks and work towards remoulding the nation’s economic assets to sustain the future generation and particularly frowned at the practice where Political office holders sacrifice the nation’s development on the alter of political partisanship and prefer to use the next election as a bait for improvement on their performance in office
.”the whole wave length is about the next election, our policies are tilted towards the next election and if not checked it will get to a point where the electorates will get tired of casting votes. We can’t run a country like this.” Governor Emmanuel stated.
He observed that a glean on the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product from 1970 to date could trigger feelings of nostalgia given the fact that the country is still grappling with putting in place basic infrastructure due to poor leadership and planning.
The Governor expressed appreciation to the Committee for the bold step taken to enact the Petroleum Industry Bill saying that the retreat which will culminate in the passage of the Bill would right the wrongs that has threatened the political consciousness and economic development of the nation as it would set the template for development of the oil sector of the economy and foster unity in the country.
“I am excited that the bill which has become a hoax over the years will see the light of the day and here by appeal to the Committee to expedite action on the passage of the bill but with special consideration to the oil producing States. Today is oil and gas tomorrow may be another resource iron, copper, limestone etc so let’s come up with a bill that will be a reference point. I thank the Committee for coming to the largest oil producing state for the deliberation “
Earlier, the Leader of the delegation who is the Chief Whip in the Senate as well as Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Professor Olusola Adeyeye, said that the retreat is an opportunity for the best minds to brainstorm and come up with enduring solution to issues plaguing the oil sector of the economy.
Senator Adeyeye explained that the PIB which made it debut in 2008 has suffered neglect by successive administrations thereby leaving the oil sector in comatose and pledged the 8th Assembly’s preparedness to evolve a bill that will guide the country in the regulation of operations in the petroleum industry and in conformity with international best practices.
He thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for the warmth reception accorded them and commended him on his sense of punctuality describing it as an attribute of a progressive minded leader.
At a special Banquet held in honour of the Senators Governor Emmanuel made a case for the establishment of Petroleum Depot in the state to ease the challenge of haulage of petroleum products in the state.
The Committee was treated to Akwa Ibom indigenous cuisine, music and comedy as Ekemini Cultural Troupe spiced the night with Cultural display to the delight of the guest.