By Odo Ogenyi, Uyo
African leaders have been urged to emulate the leadership and development drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom who was recently honoured for having the best economic blueprint in Africa.
Nigerian Ambassador to Angola, Prof Monique Ekpong made the call while presenting the 2022 African Regional Magazine Awards to Emmanuel in Angola weekend.
Ekpong said as a Nigerian she was proud with the accomplishments of Governor Udom Emmanuel which have made the State one of the best destinations in Nigeria.
“I don’t just commend Governor Emmanuel for his achievements because of the video clip we just watched, but as one who has passed through the state and have seen these projects personally.As a Nigerian I am proud of the Akwa Ibom Story.” The ambassador said.
Emmanuel while receiving the award maintained that he is changing the narrative of development in Akwa Ibom by turning the status of the state from a civil service hub into an economic hub and a preferred destination.
Represented by his Special Assistant on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, the Governor said he is making development sustainable through industrialization and infrastructural expansion.
This, the Governor maintained, “was realized through his initial Five-Point governing document of Job Creation, Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion, Poverty Alleviation, Economic and Political Inclusion and Wealth Creation, which today has been condensed into the 8-Point Completion Agenda.”
Ndueso insisted that the Governor in realizing that the key drivers of industrialization are the quality of infrastructure on the ground and, of course, peace and security, embarked on the strategic and careful plans to provide world-class infrastructure through economically viable roads, development of the Ibom Seaport Project and the spectacular innovations in the aviation sector.
“Ibom Air started with three CRJ 900 Bombardier aircrafts, and under a year, increased the fleet to five and earlier last year, added two new Airbus A220- 300 series, thus bringing the fleet to 7. As we speak, two more A320 Airbuses are now in the country and would soon join the fleet of the state owned airline.” He said.
He noted that the State now has a network of massive roads, and numerous industries and the engagements of youths in these industries and other emerging economic ventures have occasioned the success of the fight against youth restiveness.
Speaking on the theme of the 2022 African Regional Journal Fair, the governor’s aide said that the diversity of the African continent should not be a source of division and hatred among Africans, insisting that greedy and selfish leaders attempt to play on the emotions of the gullible populace to insitigate religious, ethnic and racial wars.
He maintained that with the right leadership, and sound institutional framework, the African continent has what it takes to be truly independent after several decades of freedom from colonialists.
“During the colonial era, respective African countries united to fight against the evil of imperialism and lamented that diversity are used as instruments by leaders to create artificial instability.” He said.
He urged participants at the fair to take back to their respective countries, the message of peace and unity as a panacea to lift the continent from its present situation.
In her welcome remarks, the publisher of the West African Regional Magazine and The African Regional Journal, Amb. Rossette Aloy Squire harped on the need for Africa to identify its unique talents and be deliberate about celebrating irrespective of their countries, sex, race or age.
Squire lauded the significant contributions of Governor Udom Emmanuel in putting his state on the African development map and investing on huge beneficial projects for the future of his state and the African region.
Others honoured were the President of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, Angolan-Portuguese motorsports racing superstar, Rui Pinto de Andrade, Nigeria’s ambassador to Angola, Prof Monique Ekpong, as well as the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, among others.
In the delegation from Akwa Ibom State, was the Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Aniekeme Finbarr who received an award on behalf of the State as the 2022 Most Progressive Sub Nation in Africa.
He later presented copies of Impact Magazine, a publication of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Information and Strategy, to guests at the event.
The African Regional Journal Forum and Trade Fair featured presentations from the Director, Unicontrol, LLC, USA, Mr Gabriel Ngendabanga, the President, ECOWAS chamber Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Angola (CCIAE), Mr Ablay Diop, the Chairman Angola-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Madam Tangyalamba de Oliveira Veloso.
The event was organized in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Angola-Nigeria headed by Tangyalamba Veloso