Ini Billie, Uyo
The Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) has promised to offer technical assistance to the ARISE agenda of the Akwa Ibom State Government meant to drive development in the state.
Speaking in Uyo during Akwa Ibom Dialogue, the formal launch of the ARISE Agenda, a representative of the NGF at the event, Abdul Lateef Sheriff, said the forum was committed and dedicated to the sub-national development of the states in a professional manner.
Sheriff said the NGF was delighted to collaborate with the Akwa Ibom State government in its vision to nurture the growth and prosperity of resident members in the state through an industrialised economy.
He stated that the ARISE agenda focused on agriculture and innovation-based manufacturing has the potential to result in high-productivity jobs that would take people out of unemployment and poverty caused by the nation’s economy which has created a living crisis for many Nigerians.
“We assure you, sir, of the NGF secretariat to work with your government and provide whatever technical assistance is at our disposal for the betterment of Akwa Ibom State.
“The highlights of your agenda, titled “My blueprint for economic consolidation and expansion, growing our economy, developing our people”.
The blueprint clearly provides a sense of clarity, inclusivity, and forward-thinking. It is a vision that should inspire public confidence in the new administration’s capacity to nurture the growth and prosperity of our residents in the state.
“We are delighted to see the state take a stance in the forefront, with a vision to build a highly industrialised economy through value addition in the agricultural sector and innovation-based manufacturing. This is the only way to provide high-productivity jobs that would take people out of unemployment and poverty.
“At the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, we pledge our unflinching support to see His Excellency’s vision come to fruition. We believe that by working together in true collaboration and solidarity, we can achieve remarkable progress and transform Akwa Ibom State into a shining example for other states to emulate,” he stated.
While speaking, Governor Umo Eno, said his ARISE agenda would be focused on Agriculture, Rural Development, Infrastructure, Security, and Education, adding that it is time Akwa Ibom people take ownership of the dream and articulate its realisation together.
Eno explained that the ARISE agenda is further broken down into 17 focal sectors targetted for short-, medium- and long-term implementation, urged the people, irrespective of their political leanings to eschew hatred and join hands together to build the state.
The governor who stated that his administration would be operating a new template, explained that the return of all Executive Council members of the last administration to his government was for continuity, progress and the realisation of the ARISE agenda.
He urged them to key into the demands of his administration, and warned against laziness and excuses for non-performance, saying it would not be tolerated as non-performers would be removed from office.
“I would like to inform the incoming Commissioners that you are coming into a new season. You may be old on the job but there is a new template. I have fulfilled my part of the bargain with you to ensure that as colleagues, we come back together and run the government because you laboured during the elections.
“We worked together, I didn’t just have the heart to throw you away but the truth is, there is work to be done. The truth is, we will not take excuses, we will take results. We still need your wisdom, we still need your ideas, that is why there is a continuity in this government, so we can sit together and finish. But how far you will travel will depend on you. If you don’t deliver, you will hear the announcement on the news,” he stated.
Other speakers, like the former Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who was the Chairman of the occasion, called on governments to create opportunities for private sector investment in job creation.
Udoma said the private sector provides most of the investment required to grow the economy and create jobs, as such, governments must provide the enabling environment that would encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, investment and wealth creation.
Immediate past governor of the state, Mr Udom Emmanuel, who was the special guest of honour, called on the people to cooperate with Governor Umo Eno to actualize his ARISE agenda, saying Akwa Ibom has the human resources to realise the goal.
Emmanuel said execution, planning and acceptance of the agenda would drive its actualisation and warned the people against distracting the governor with negative comments.
Also speaking, former Governor, Obong Victor Attah said the ARISE was the restoration of the dream he had for the state that was beginning to fade and urged that the policies realised from the dialogue and the blueprint of the agenda must be implemented for the state to make progress.