GOVERNOR UDOM HOSTS AKWA IBOM GENERALS, ADVOCATES MENTORSHIP
Governor Udom Emmanuel says the visit of the Vice President during the 30th Anniversary of the state this weekend will provide people opportunity to access the level of private sector investments in the state in the last couple of months.
He also threw a challenge to the Generals to mentor and help other young Akwa Ibom sons and daughters in the different Armed Forces to rise along the ranks and file of every military unit so that in the future, Akwa Ibom will boast of more Generals.
Mr Emmanuel stated these in a special gala in honour of serving and retired Armed Forces Generals of the Nigerian Armed Forces from the state, held at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Uyo.
Tagged, “Evening with the Generals” he said he decided to focus attention on the private sector driven projects during Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s visit, to demonstrate how the international business community are relying on the proven integrity of Akwa Ibom people, to invest in the state despite the recent poor economic turnover in the country.
“We want to prove to the whole world with the help of our Vice President that at the peak of recession when the exchange rate was going for over N500 to a dollar, when people were counting several months of non-payment of salaries and allowances, we were still talking to our friends”.
The Governor maintained that, the foundation laid by the quality of leaderships, both past and present, has given the state an edge in the current times.
“This 30 years is not about the projects the State Government has executed, but it is about our friends in the outside world who have come to partner with us to develop our state.”
He said the Vice President is commissioning the largest syringe manufacturing company in Africa that is targeting the production of 1 billion syringes a year and, “a private sector initiative of a digital metering factory.”
The Governor used the occasion to extol the contributions of Military Generals and Service Men to promoting the peace of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“We acknowledge your contributions to this country, we acknowledge your sacrifices to this country, and we acknowledge what you have done to lead the banner of this country to where we are. We cannot have much to offer but to just say that we appreciate your services in Nigeria.”
“At 30, we must say that we appreciate you, as a people you have made us proud. So far I have never one day heard of anything that could actually bring down or tarnish the image of our serving Generals, both serving and retired, it’s something we must celebrate.”
Governor Udom expressed a hope that in the next 10 years, many Akwa Ibom sons will be in diverse positions of authority in the military and other paramilitary units in the country.
He stressed a need to drive human capital development as it is the only way Akwa Ibom people can be found in strategic positions of influence in the near future, lamenting that only two Akwa Ibomites were considered in the last Air force recruitment exercise.
He announced the allocation of a piece of land to each of the serving Generals, saying the plots of land will be at areas close to standard infrastructure.
In his Goodwill message, the Chief of Naval Staff represented by Rear Admiral S.O. Adenipe, commended Governor Emmanuel for his numerous support to the Navy, especially in the provision of infrastructure for take-off of the Naval Military College.
Rear Admiral S. O. Adenipe said that, “of all the three things that are covered by the Eastern Naval Command, Akwa Ibom remains the most peaceful, and supportive to the Nigerian Navy .
He said that Akwa Ibom has set an example to other states and express the belief that the Navy will soon be given land for smooth take-off of the proposed Naval War College in the state.
Also speaking, the Representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Enobong Udo commended the state Governor for the support that led to the establishment of the 2 Brigade in Uyo and for the donation of infrastructure for the Army Secondary School in Efa and congratulated the state on the 30th anniversary.
Others who spoke in the occasion included the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok, the Air Vice Marshal Uko Ebong the representative of the Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral S. O. Paul and the Senate Minotrity Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio.