Kudos to Akwa Ibom’s industrial renaissance
Sir: There are a few factors that put top nations such as the United States of America, China, Germany, United Kingdom and France among others, on the same pedestal; a good Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of such factors. Before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the global economy, the USA had the highest GDP in the world, valued at $21.3 trillion, and followed by China at $14.3 trillion according to 2019 figures by the World Bank.
An enviable GDP serves as one of the indices of the economic wellbeing of a nation as it reflects other fundamental metrics that guarantee sustainable development. A good GDP speaks volume about prosperity, good standard of living, longer lifespan and other life-enriching gifts that draw migrants to the developed world.
Over the years, many countries, with the United Arab Emirates as prime example, have raised their GDP to a high level through vigorous industrialisation of their economies. From countries that were unknown in the early 80s, they have risen to become the most flourishing countries attracting the best brains around the world to propel them to produce world-class products and services. The successes of these traditional economic giants and the rise of emerging ones like the UAE and China has consistently proven to us that creating an enviable economy is no rocket science; it only takes a visionary leader and a succession of others loyal to the vision through integrity, transparency and teamwork.
Akwa Ibom, with a population of over five million and land mass of 6,900 square kilometres, is one of the states making giant strides in tandem with the vision set for the state by Governor Udom Emmanuel to transform the “Land of Promise” which was primarily a civil servant state into an economically stable state through sustainable and strategic industrialisation.
Udom’s industrialisation programme has seen the birth of Ibom Airline with four aircrafts and an electricity meter factory with capacity to produce about one million meters annually. His vision attracted Turkish investors to set up a syringe manufacturing factory in Onna Local Government Area with capacity to produce 350million units of 2ml, 5ml and 10ml disposable syringe annually. The first factory to produce toothpicks and pencils in Nigeria was set up in Akwa Ibom putting an end to the importation of these basic products from China and other neighbouring countries.
The state also has established a plastic manufacturing plant in Itu with the capacity to generate one billion naira annually, in addition to generating 10,000 jobs for the people. There is also a fledgling coconut oil factory in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state with capacity to generate about 1,500 direct jobs, contributing about $20 million to Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Facts and figures point to the fact that Udom is not resting on his oars as he stays focused on his five-point agenda, small and medium scale enterprises development; infrastructure, security, human capacity development; agriculture and rural and riverine area development.
• Ajayi Oluwapelumi Tobi wrote from Lagos
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