Uwemedimo Udo

I have had cause to disagree with the recent decision of the government of Akwa Ibom State to construct a new Governor’s lodge in Lagos at this time. I had expected the government to issue a solid and very convincing reason (s) to support this plan but sadly, the major reason adduced does not have sufficient kinetic energy to undertake any reasonable motion.

According to Joseph Okon, the Governor’s Aide, the major reason for this wild adventure is to provide a nice place to host investors. Incredible? Don’t say you don’t know that investors need a decent accommodation to make major investment decisions in the interest of our people.

IT will be quite herculean for anyone to attempt to convince me to believe that this decision is a wise one. Never! It is also an impossibility to believe that any right thinking person would take this government serious for embarking on this white elephant adventure.

First, every wise investor would naturally prefer to hold meetings in his /her potential area of investment to possibly boost his/her proper understanding of the potential business terrain. He/She would wish to see things first hand, as they are before coming to invest.

Second, Akwa Ibom State already has a befitting Governor’s lodge in Uyo and another in Abuja which is suitable to host any investment summit even with Presidents of Nations. A few Presidents have visited the State not quite many years ago. The liaison office in Lagos needs only renovation. There is also a Le Meridian and a four points by Sheraton hotel here.

Third, Lagos and Akwa Ibom States have functional airports through which our Akwa Ibom State bound investors can connect Uyo in about an hour if it becomes necessary. Akwa Ibom State is therefore quite accessible by air.

Fourth, in this digital age, investors now prefer virtual meetings until they are fully persuaded to visit their potential investment sites. Virtual meetings like teleconferencing happen real time with no physical contact.

Fifth, it is common knowledge that the State government is heavily indebted to workers, Pensioners, contractors and some financial institutions. It is therefore not a wise decision to embark on this project at this time or even in the nearest future.

It is therefore unthinkable for any Governor in the Nigeria of today to contemplate the construction of a new Governor’s lodge in his State, let alone elsewhere.

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