The United States Consul General in Nigeria, Mr. Will Stevens, has lauded the outstanding fiscal transparency of the Udom Emmanuel led government of Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Will Stevens gave the commendation while speaking at Government House, Uyo, on Thursday, during a courtesy visit to the Akwa Ibom State Governor.
The US envoy said his government was impressed with the performance of the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Gov. Emmanuel in the areas of health, public accountability and fiscal transparency.
“Akwa Ibom State is one of the first partners in Africa that has improved on fiscal transparency. The state leads all other states in Nigeria in creating its public finance plan.
“We are particularly proud of this and hope that your government is also very proud of it,” Consul General Will Stevens affirmed.
He also extolled the states aviation pride, the Ibom Air, describing it as an airline to be desired for a next flight.
In his words, “it is a real honour for me to visit Akwa Ibom. This is my first trip outside Lagos and I’m truly impressed. I flew in on Ibom Air and I’m looking forward to another flight in it.”
He also noted that the state in the last two years have moved from 12% to 95% of people on treatment for HIV/AIDS under the US supported programme.
“I wish to note some of the wonderful things that have happened under the governor’s leadership and the leadership of my predecessors. Some of the work have been in the health arena where we have worked hand in hand to combat HIV aids. This state has moved from just 12% of people who were on treatment to about 95% which surpasses the UN goal for control of epidemic. This truly has been recognized as something to be celebrated.”
Governor Emmanuel on his part, expressed gratitude for the recognitions by the government of the United States and the kind words of the Consul General, while communicating the warm welcome of the government and people of Akwa Ibom State.
The governor acknowledged that Nigeria plays a critical role in the global economy, particularly Akwa Ibom State, seeking partnership with American investors to explore the huge opportunities in the areas of agriculture, oil and gas sector and other enormous natural resources the state is endowed with.
The State Chief Executive therefore solicited the intervention of the American Government to get ExxonMobil expand its business in the State beyond crude oil drilling and sales to explore other related opportunities in the sector, particularly regretting that the American oil giant after operating in the state for over 50 years was still flaring gas that could be converted to solve some of the nations energy needs.