By Torobong Ekpo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel on Tuesday defended his government’s decision to build a new Governors lodge in Lagos.
The Governor who spoke through his aide, Joseph Okon, said his decision to build a new Governors lodge in Lagos was to aid his government realise its industrialization policy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the idea of building a government lodge in Lagos is in order if the state government must achieve the industrialization agenda. Don’t forget that Lagos is currently the investment hub in Nigeria. As it is now, Akwa Ibom State government doesn’t have a befitting place to receive investors who may likely want to invest in Akwa Ibom” Okon wrote.
Continuing, the Governor through Okon said, “The liaison office in Lagos is not up to standard to give the prospective investors a good impression of Akwa Ibom. That is why most times those meetings are held in hotels which does not give a good impression because 419 people also take those they intend to defraud to hotels for meetings. It’s important that government should have a befitting address in Lagos for first time meeting with prospective investors”.
“Even in our relationship, experience has shown that there is no serious woman that will follow a man to his house at first meeting except the cheap and unserious ones. No serious investor that will come straight to Akwa Ibom to meet with the governor, there has to be a better meeting place where investors visit and reside before coming to Akwa Ibom. And if the meeting must yield the needed fruit it should not be held in a hotel room. Having a state government lodge in Lagos will boost investors confidence and attract them to the state”, he stated.
Okon said since Lagos is the economic center of Nigeria, the governor goes there every time and considering the cost of staying in a hotel by the governor in Lagos, a new Governors lodge will help in cutting the cost of expenditure whenever the governor is in Lagos.
“Some of us may not see the benefits and important of it now, but our leader who sees the future and the need to have it now is certainly right. Please, let us learn to follow our leaders and not leading them, and let us trust their judgement as they are inspired to do certain things by God who made them leaders. The project is not a waste, it’s for the good of Akwa Ibom people”, he admonished.
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel is on the verge of being evicted from the Government House as the architects who designed the Akwa Ibom State Government House has asked governor to vacate the Government House complex over a N2bn debt.
Mr. Ubokutom Nyah, the architect who hails from Essien Udim, hometown of former Governor Godswill Akpabio, is seeking a court order to restrain the state government and its agents access to the facilities.
The Government House complex also houses the office and residential quarters of the deputy governor, office of the Secretary to the State Government and the Head of Civil Service, office of Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Banquet Hall.
Nyah’s action is contained in suit number HU/147/2016 filed in the Uyo High Court between the applicant, OttoTrinity Studios led by Nyah and the state government as first defendant and the state attorney general as the second defendant.