AKHA Wants Full Fledge College of Agriculture
29 Mar 2012
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committees on Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and that of Agriculture & Natural Resources, mounted an impact driven capacity building workshop in Uyo to brainstorm on the inherent potentials and resources available in Akwa Ibom State as it borders on industrialisation, tourism, commerce, and the agricultural sectors of the economy.
In a communiqué which was presented by the Chairman of the Session, a former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nelson Effiong, during the capacity building workshop with the theme “An Effective Exploration of Akwa Ibom Potentials And Resources Through Industrialisation, Tourism, Commerce And Agriculture,” recommended among other things that the State Government should give adequate support to the entrepreneurial development centres of Akwa Ibom State Universities with regards to training and re-training of needed manpower, while calling on Government as a matter of urgency to establish a full fledge College of Agriculture to train the state’s teeming youths.
The resource persons which were seasoned in their areas of presentation were drawn from the business and trade associations, farmers and allied agricultural associations, youths and entrepreneurial sectors and the academia, focused on strengthening and institutionalising business advocacy network as necessary tools in the on-going investment and industrialization programme of Akwa Ibom State.
The following topics were exhaustively treated:- EXPLOITING THE EXISTING INDUSTRIAL AND TOURISM POTENTIALITIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE: A CRITICAL TOOL FOR JOB CREATION, REVENUE GENERATION AND HUMAN CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT, AND THE PARTICIPATION OF YOUTHS IN AGRICULTURE: AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF JOB CREATION, FOOD SUFFICIENCY AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT.
The communiqué as signed by the House Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon Eyak Etukudo, his counterpart Rt. Hon. Jerome Isangedighi, House Committee Chairman on Industry, Commerce and Tourism recommended:
- That an industrial fund to be specifically embedded and managed by the Akwa Ibom State Investment Corporation be established.
- Industries should be established and should be located where the raw materials are found.
- The labour pool for such industries should come primarily from local population without compromising expertise.
- The State Government should undertake a solid minerals survey of the State to determine actual quantities available so as to attract and encourage foreign investments.
- All Federal Government agencies in the state with bias for manpower development should also be engaged in the industrialisation and manpower development of the state for example, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Information Communication Technology (ICT), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Technology Incubation Centre (TIC) and Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
- The State Government should facilitate land acquisition for both industrial and agricultural projects; Youths and women should be given special consideration.
- The agro-allied sector of the State should be given priority attention to enhance export of agricultural products. Government should continue with the Integrated Farmers’ Scheme. However, it should strengthen the monitoring and evaluation strategies to boost the effectiveness of the programme.
- More youths should be encouraged to go into commercial agricultural projects like “School to Land” programmes as was practiced by Governor Oyakhilome’s government in Rivers State in the 80’s.
- Government should invest in and provide information on climate and environmental changes for use by farmers and fishermen because monitoring the weather would be advantageous to enhancing productivity in such key areas.
- The general policy of Government should centre more on cushioning the equity investment participation of local investors in partnerships of companies in industries, commerce and tourism, and agriculture and natural resources.
Earlier the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Samuel Ikon said in line with the state government’s resolve to open up the State for effective exploration of its inherent resources and potentials through industrialization, tourism, commerce and its natural resources, effective modalities should be put in place to ensure its actualisation in no time.
The Speaker who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Udo Kirian Akpan expressed optimism that Akwa Ibom State will succeed and become a House whole name in the comity of Nations whose economies are sustained by solely tourism, commerce and agriculture.