The African Union Development Agency AUDA-NEPAD has assured the Akwa Ibom State Government of greater sustainable collaboration in the areas of food security, jobs as well as wealth creation to stem the increasing rate of poverty and unemployment in the country.
The National Coordinator/CEO of the agency in Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, while receiving a team from the state, in Abuja recently, noted that harnessing economic potentials in the component states of the country will enhance inclusive growth and, in the process, increase job opportunities, arrest unemployment levels and deal with the challenge of insecurity.
The team had briefed the CEO of the state government’s focus on value-chain agriculture development and its desire to push the frontiers of agricultural revolution to reset the economy of the state away from reliance on crude oil proceeds. It expressed appreciation for the support of the agency towards development in the state and was delighted to be part of the agency’s committee towards strengthening the capacity of small-holder farmers.
The team comprised Professor Hogan Akpan-Ekpo, Chairman of the state’s Post-COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction Implementation Committee (ERIMC); Mr. Udom Inoyo, a former Executive Vice-Chairman of ExxonMobil (Nigeria) and member of ERIMC; Chief Uno Uno, Commissioner for Transport and Solid Minerals as well as Ms Emem Ibokette, Director Solid Minerals in the state.
The National Coordinator noted that the component states that make up Nigeria have enormous potentials that can trigger an industrial revolution in Africa; and in the process redirect the economic trajectory of the continent; but she added that the respective state governments need to key into programmes that can unlock those potentials by coming up with bankable proposals that can attract counterpart funding from development partners.
Prof. Akpan-Ekpo commended the National Coordinator for her great stewardship, expressing commitment of the state to the partnership. He observed that the AUDA-NEPAD project is in line with the state government’s commitment to diversify its economy away from sole reliance on crude oil proceeds, to exploit other revenue streams to enable the provision of basic infrastructure and address the welfare and security challenges of the people.
The team was introduced to National Coordinator by Dr. Emmanuel Abang, a Senior Special Assistant to the NC/CEO, who is also an Akwa Ibom indigene.
The AUDA-NEPAD Agency has been in the forefront of development initiatives in the country even at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic; and has received national and continental recognitions including the appointment of its CEO as member, AU-APRM Committee on Response to COVID-19 and other Pandemics.