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Stakeholders for Social Good Hosts Inaugural Business Leadership Summit in A’Ibom

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The Community Stakeholders for Social Good had on Thursday held its Inaugural Business Leadership Summit in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The summit according to the Chief Executive Officer, Mmanti Umoh was to bridge the gap and transform government’s relationship with businesses in the State as covid 19 pandemic has negatively impacted on the economy.

In her opening remarks at the event tagged “Leading In The Midst Of Uncertainty,” which was held in Ibom E-Library, IBB avenue, Uyo, the State capital, Umoh called on the State government to be efficient and agile stressing that bureaucracy has to be replaced with meritocracy.

She added, ”we need to build an economy where we borrow less and produce more. We need an economy where we generate more jobs here at home and send more products overseas. We need to invest and nurture the industries of the future, and we need to train our workers to compete for those jobs. In the next 30 years, we will see a completely new value chain.

“The whole way that we do business, that we live and that we have grown accustomed to in the industrial age, will have to be changed. To capitalize on the great opportunities the future provides, and to respond to the economic and social challenges we face today, courageous and comprehensive reforms are needed. These require the collaborative efforts of governments, businesses, and other actors in society.”

Following, the Special guest of honor; Justice Ifiok Ukanna (Rtd) who spoke on the topic, ‘The rule of law, a bedrock of sustainable development. (Is law as we know it, still fit for purpose?),’ said the rule of law works hand in hand with development as only law can maintain equitable balance between individuals, business and the State.

Justice Ukana further said, “we need to put the rule of law squarely at the heart of development — no longer an optional extra, but the very stuff without which no development can be sustained. We must lay strong emphasis on access to justice, on the quality and inclusivity of institutions. The rule of law can evolve to meet the challenges of business, but it must be practical, transparent, flexible, and above all rapid.”

The keynote speaker; Mr. Udom Inoyo described leadership as germane to the success of a business noting that before any business survives amidst the covid 19 economy, business leaders must among other things, ‘pull together a network of like-minded entrepreneurs forming a symbiotic ecosystem of local businesses.’

Adding that business leaders must embrace technology and innovation to stay ahead of the competition and address anticipated future business challenges as well as maintaining a high level of discipline, hard work and integrity.”

Also speaking, the member representing Etinan federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke urged leaders at all tier of government not to use the pandemic as a ruse for weakening Democratic institutions, fundamental rights and further exclude political participation.

He further urged leaders especially those in governments to meet people at the point of their needs by social inclusion such as improved access to education and health care, as well as protection from food disruptions.

“Africa must step up. Our approach to leadership must change to put the welfare of our citizens first. It is time for the present crop of leaders in Africa to give way for the set that will take Africa to its preferred destination.” The lawmaker said.

He regretted governments’ failure to invest in research and development as the research institutions in Nigeria have not been able to come up with vaccines for covid19.

Also speaking, the Chairman, forum of Civil Societies Organisations, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Harry Udo called for good governance that would be participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, equitable, inclusive and follows the rule of law.

He said such governance assures that “corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.

Other dignitaries who spoke at the event included Pastor Martin Effiong- the Branch Manager of First Bank, Mr. Effiong Esumo – Exxon Mobil Nigeria, Mr Hanson Johnson- Founder, Start Innovation Hub & Program Coordinator Community Stakeholders for Social Good, Mr. Ubong Obot- MD, Ubotex Nigeria Limited, Magnus Chukwuekezie – MD Everyday Foods, Elder Ndanti Ekuh SSA on Research and Documentation, Mrs Anita Asuquo – Project Lead Akwa Ibom Business Leadership Summit, Miss Iboro Gordon – Chancellor environmental education Institute & Curator, Global Shapers Community Uyo.

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