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Over 1,000 youths from Akwa Ibom State have been earmarked by the state government to benefit from the first batch of training and economic empowerment programme designed by a group of Akwa Ibom professionals under the auspices of the Ibom Diaspora Trust.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, who disclosed this while addressing the first Akwa Ibom Economic Summit and Investment Expo in Houston, United States of America, at the weekend, said the programme was a major step in the partnership between the state government and indigenes of Akwa Ibom in the Diaspora in developing skills and manpower that would drive small and medium scale business growth and the overall economic advancement of the state
The governor commended the Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network for organising the summit to discuss the economic fortunes of the state and explore ways and means of attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the state. He said the summit was most auspicious especially since the state government had laid the requisite infrastructural foundation for the industrialisation and economic growth. By this summit, “you have fanned the flame of Akwa Ibom patriotism and nationalism in the hearts of Akwa Ibom people and particularly those in the diaspora” Akpabio enthused.
Chief Akpabio assured all would be investors at the summit of his administration’s commitment to supporting viable economic ventures in the state, adding that government had put in place policies and incentives that had made the state an attractive investors’ destination. The governor listed some of the core areas of partnership to include maritime and aviation development; tourism and hospitality, as well as small and medium scale industries. The state Chief Executive urged potential investors to note that Akwa Ibom State was a gold mine with ‘treasures that are yet to be tapped’ and admonished them to harken to the voice of opportunity knocking at their door steps and to open their doors to the world of limitless opportunities that abound in the state.
The Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Umana Okon Umana, who chaired the business session, noted that the state was ready for investors by working hard to ensure adequate security for lives and property. He said the government placed high premium on developmental initiatives such as the AIDN summit which underscores why a high delegation was sent to participate in the summit
The summit, whose broad theme was: Moving Akwa Ibom Forward, had sessions on: Enhancing Investment opportunities and Attracting Foreign Direct Investments. It attracted 25 major corporations and companies in the United States and Canada and the United States Bilateral African Chambers of Commerce, who made presentations and expression of interest.
In his welcome address, the President of Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network, AIDN, Mr Clement Ikpatt, called on Akwa people in the Diaspora to gear up and make positive contributions to the development of the state. ‘We are mindful of the roles that our citizens in the Diaspora must play towards actualising the industrialisation policy of Governor Godswill Akpabio. We must contribute our quota in ways that will boost economic investments in Akwa Ibom State, especially with the goal of providing employment opportunities for our people’, Ikpatt said.Share