With the numerous economic benefits of coconut coupled with its changing narratives as the new cash cow, Akwa Ibom people particularly government workers have been urged to take up investment in Coconut business.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong gave the charge on Thursday, August 27, in his office during a courtesy call on him by the executive members of the State branch of the National Coconut Producers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN).
Comrade Ini Ememobong who said it was the realization of the huge revenue turnover in coconut investment that gingered Governor Udom Emmanuel into investing in the St. Gabriel Coconut Refinery and Plantation, implored Akwa Ibom people to take Coconut businesses very seriously.
He urged government workers to take investment in Coconut as their retirement business plan and advised Akwa Ibom people to ensure to family plant some tangible quantity of coconut with an economic outlook, emphasizing that Coconut is a money-spinning export crop.
While expressing appreciation to the Association for the strides recorded so far in the coconut business, the state Information helmsman urged the group to heighten its investment in coconut to enable it contribute to the needed raw materials for the optimal utilization of the Coconut refinery.
Reiterating that the visit was more of an economic meeting, Comrade Ememobong disclosed plans to embark on the empowerment of villagers in the area of investment in coconut Plantation, adding that he was ready to purchase and distribute over 400,000 coconut and oil palm seedlings in this regard.
He pledged the partnership of the Ministry towards increased enlightenment on investment in Coconut business as well as in the successful celebration of the 2020 Coconut Day of the Association in September.
Advising the body to liaise with relevant government establishments such as the Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Foreign Direct Investments, FDI and the Central Bank to leverage on available facilities and services to boost their business; Comrade Ememobong urged the Association to consider ways of maximizing their growth in the business by adapting international best practices in their business.
Such measures according to the state Spokesman will involve the adoption of price control mechanism and the positive unionization of the body, to avoid infiltration capable of reducing their profit margin through retail processes.
Speaking, the State Chairman of the Association, Prince Kingsley Isong had said the group was in the Ministry to seek possible collaboration towards heightening publicity on the need for the development of interest by Akwa Ibom people in coconut business. He listed some coconut products of the Association to include: Bottled Coconut Water, processed Coconut meat in take-away containers, coconut cake, coconut chinchin, among others.
Prince Kinsley Isong who used the occasion to congratulate Comrade Ini Ememobong on his appointment as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, extended invitation to the Commissioner on the 2020 Coconut Day celebration, while soliciting the Ministry’s support towards the publicity of their programmes.
Highlights of the event witnessed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Inyang Jameson and Directors, were the presentation of Coconut by the Vice Chairman, Mr. Christopher Monday to the Commissioner and his decoration as the Ambassador of the Association.