In alignment with the recent measures introduced by the Federal Government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has issued an Executive Order (EO) to put the state government-owned private jet into commercial use, aiming to significantly reduce governance costs.

Following a lengthy State Executive Council (SEC) meeting that extended into late Monday night, Governor Eno directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Enobong Uwah, to oversee the implementation of this cost-cutting measure in response to the current financial challenges affecting the state’s economy.

The decision to commercialize the Bombardier model jet, acquired during the administration of former Governor Godswill Akpabio, was made in recognition of the need for substantial reductions in governance expenses, the impact of volatile exchange rates, and the escalating maintenance costs associated with the private jet. While the aircraft will remain a state asset, it will be utilized for more financially viable ventures.

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Addressing journalists at the end of the SEC meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, explained that the decision became necessary in order to effectively utilise the jet in a more viable and lucrative ventures.

Hear him: “Council granted permission for the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to undertake a cost reduction management structure for the state official private jet.

“This decision is predicated on the need for a drastic reduction in the cost of governance, the volatile exchange rate, and the corresponding increase in the cost of maintenance of the private jet. While the aircraft will remain the state’s asset, it will be put to more lucrative use.”

Additionally, the State Executive Council addressed various other significant matters, including a report on proposed dialysis and renal centers in the state, educational initiatives, the state’s Social Register, ongoing reforms at the state investment agency, AKICORP, as well as infrastructure projects such as airport enhancements and ongoing road contracts.

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The council’s decisions also encompassed the launch of an Akwa Ibom-United Kingdom Education Exchange Programme, where students from rural areas across all local government areas in the state took examinations, with successful candidates set to experience a unique educational opportunity. Furthermore, the Governor requested a final report on proposed health facilities to facilitate their prompt construction across the state.

“Information and Education Ministries presented a report on the Akwa Ibom-United Kingdom Education Exchange Programme that students from secondary schools in rural areas from all Local Government Areas in the state took examinations from which successful candidates emerged. The Governor reiterated his preparedness to give the selected students an experience of a lifetime.

“On infrastructure, EXCO ratified recommendations from the Finance and General Purposes Committee (FGPC) on the approval for release of funds for additional works at the airport and ongoing road contracts in the state,” Ememobong added

These measures reflect the state’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and efficient resource utilization in the face of economic challenges.