The lives of people of 10 rural communities in Akwa Ibom State are to experience positive change following the N100 million-assistance from the World Bank. The bank is working in partnership with the state government to enhance the people-oriented projects in the communities. Each of the 10 communities was given N10m to execute projects worth that sum.

Commissioner for Economics Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, who presented the cheques, stated that the disbursed fund would help the benefiting communities to execute micro projects and social infrastructure that would enhance the wellbeing of the people. The presentation was made in Uyo a training programme of community project management committee members and other community stakeholders:

“This event is a very important event and it is my expectations that all of you will take this training serious. In Akwa Ibom State today, you have a Governor that is very passionate about the development of the state.

“Governor Udom Emmanuel believes that Akwa Ibom people should not beg for a living. He believes that opportunity should be created for Akwa Ibom people to work and earn a living.

“The way you implement this project in your various community will serve as an encouragement for the state government and World Bank to do more. I want to employ all of you to make sure that the money released to you for the micro project is used for that purpose.”

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General Manager, Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, Mr Ishmael Akpan, said: “The training is properly designed, packaged and will be carefully handled by qualified and experienced personnel to effectively inform and guide the community people in their implementation process. Funding is made directly to the community people who utilize it in the execution of their micro projects prudently and in a transparent and accountable manner.”

In a paper presentation, Mrs Ofonime Ukpe, stressed the need for residents of the benefiting communities to avoid conflict during implementation of their preferred projects: «Work in unity, avoid conflict because conflict leads to abandonment of projects. Conflict, if not managed leads to war in a community. Try to tolerate one another›s differences so that the projects can be completed.”

One of the beneficiaries from Ikot Ekpenyong community in Essien Udim LGA, Mrs Justina Sunday, said: “Those that have been there in my community know the condition of our livelihood.

«So, for someone to bring in a project like borehole and renovation of town hall to our community, is a great relief to us because a lot of us have suffered for so long due to lack of water and other important things. We are grateful to the State Government and the World Bank.”

The benefiting communities included, Eyehedia Ikot Otuk and Otung in Ini LG; Edem Ekpat and Ikot Nkang in Etinan LG; Ata Ikot Inyang in Etinan LG; Ukana Ikot Ekon and Ikot Ekpenyong in Essien Udim LG; Ekpenyong Ufom in Essien Udim LG; Anua Ekeya in Okobo LG; Kampa and Emere-Oke in Eastern Obolo LG.