From Joe Effiong, Uyo
An economist and investment banker, Mr Udeme Etokeyen, has laid to rest the contentious issue of ownership of private investments in the Akwa Ibom state which some claim is 100% government-owned while others say the government has no stake whatever.
Rather Etokeyen said the controversies and criticisms trailing the establishment of industries in the state have no basis as the state government holds 30 per cent equity in all the private investments
According to him, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel provided the enabling environment for the existence and growth of the industries in the forms of land, good roads and security industries among others.
Etokeyen said this during the media roundtable session organised by Correspondents Chapel to mark its 2021 week. The theme of the week was “Post COVID-19 Economy and the Challenges to Ethical Journalism Ahead of 2023 Elections”.
‘The Akwa Ibom State Government is also a major owner of all private investments in the state, having provided land and the necessary enabling environment in terms of roads, security, peace and harmony.
‘I suggest that the government should build and develop the Maritime sector and other investment potentials in the state to create employment opportunities and ginger its economy.
‘There is also need for the Federal Government and state governments to harmonise policies that would promote industrialization and growth of private investments,’ he said.
Also speaking at the media roundtable, Chairman Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community Mr Clifford Thomas urged the government to maximize the investment potentials of the state by re-orientating the mindsets of the people.
‘Previous governments had made cultism a credential for involvement in government and not building the consciousness of the people particularly youths to be positively active.
‘The demand culture prevalent among our youths as opposed to the culture of productiveness; youths should work towards been entrepreneurs.
‘Akwa Ibom State would have been the production hub of the country if the Science Park had been developed. The state government should involve the communities to help harness and drive investments,’ he said.