By Kufre Francis-Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has made a case for stronger synergy with the United States Government and involvement of the state in the implementation of the US Assisted programmes.
The state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel made the advocacy when he received the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard who was on a courtesy visit to him at government house, Uyo,
Governor Emmanuel said the state’s involvement will ensure an interface with implementing partners and create room for effective monitoring of the programmes for transparency and effective implementation.
Governor Udom Emmanuel acknowledged the partnership between American and Nigerian governments in the provision of critical facilities in the state and urged the United States government to consider reviewing the earlier statement that named Akwa Ibom among states that were unsafe for Americans to travel to.
He said the statement was not only contrary to reports on the state by the Police and other security agencies but capable of hindering investors coming into the state and therefore inimical to the industrialization drive of his government.
According to the governor, there was no society without some pockets of crime, noting such did not mean the state was unsafe.
The state’s chief executive maintained that Akwa Ibom was widely adjudged one of the safest states in the country by the nation’s security apparatus and therefore should not be deprived of her status as investors’ Haven.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in her remarks said the visit was to ascertain the status of the US founded projects, after constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US envoy expressed delight on the investments made by Akwa Ibom State Government in the health sector as evident in the improved health infrastructure, trained health workers, reversal of previous statistics in malaria and HIV/AIDS despite the COVID 19 pandemic.
Mary Leonard noted that the US investments were thriving in Akwa Ibom, a development which she said would further strengthen the partnership.