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1,000 Akwa Ibom Youths to Benefit from Diaspora Training … as Gov. Akpabio unveils AK investment incentives in Houston

By Essien Ndueso
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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 professional under the auspices of the Ibom Diaspora Trust to help in embedding the culture of entrepreneurship in the State.

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 Akwa Ibom Diaspora in developing skills and man power that will 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 that 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 has made the State an attractive investor's 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 Akwa Ibom 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 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 makes positive contributions to the development of the State. 'We are mindful of the roles that diaspora citizens 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.

The three days event had in attendance notable Nigerians and Key officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government. They include, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Senator Ita Ennag , Speaker of the State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon and members of the house; the Secretary to the State Government, Umana Okon Umana , Rt. Hon Awal Tukur, Commissioners for Finance; Information; Economic Development; Commerce and Industries; Local Government ; Special Duties, Technical Matters as well as Investments and Industrialisation were all in attendance. Others include business men, clergymen ,Stakeholders and Senior Citizens and the diaspora business community.

(R-L ) Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr. Umana Okon Umana,Sen. Ita Ennang, Bishop Cletus Bassey, Georgia State Senator, Donzila James, Chief Senas Ukpanah and Duni Lebron, Rep of Congress Woman Sheila Jackson Lee at Akwa Ibom Economic Summit on Houston, Texas at the weekend.

Gov Godswill Akpabio (M) addressing the Summit while Amb. Ojo Maduekwe (R) and SSG, Umana Umana(L) look on