From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State has said that industrialization and infrastructural development remains the key to sustainable national development.
Udom said this in Nsukka on Thursday while delivering the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) 61 first Founders Day Lecture titled: “Changing the Narrative of Development through Industrialization and Infrastructure.”
He said that reason for slow pace in national development in Nigeria and other African countries is because of poor attention given to industrialisation and infrastructure by successive government.
“Nigeria lost out in past world industrial revolutions that made some of the developed countries the industry hub of the world today.
“Countries like China, Israel, Korea, US among others are leading economies of world today because they paid serious attention to infrastructures and industries and
made huge investments in it, “he said.
The governor also said that industrialisation was his magic in transforming Akwa Ibom state. “Industrialization was the central plank of my governing agenda and this, we have pursued with zeal and passion.
“As I always say, it is good for a 21st century leader to have a broad vision and requisite exposure to international best practices.
“If Akwa Ibom State as a sub-national, without control over development policies could move the needle of development and change the narratives from what was formerly a civil service oriented State to fast Industrialized entity, we can replicate same nationally.
“My administration since inception in 2015 has made robust investment in infrastructure and industry which has inturn transformed as well as lurred both local and foreign investors to invest in the state, he said,” he said.
The governor expressed appreciation to UNN management for finding him worthy to present the university prestigious Founders day lecture.
“I am humbled and overwhelmed for finding me to deliver this lecture and I did not take it for granted,” he said
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Charles Igwe said that the institution’s Founders,’ Day celebration was set aside to celebrate the founding father of the university, adding that the lectures are reserved for individuals with great accomplishment.
“UNN Founder’s Day celebration are intended to celebrate the founding Fathers of our university, which was established on the eve of Nigeria’s independence on October 1960.
“The Founder’s Day Lecture is, therefore the most enduring and the most prestigious of the public lectures organized by the university.
“This explains why the honour to deliver the lecture is reserved for
and women of great accomplishment, especially people whose achievement can inspire and motivate the university community,”
“I am proud, therefore, that we are able to attract an accomplished professional, political leader and a renowned manager of human and material resources in the person of Governor Udom Emmanuel to present the 61st Founders’ Day Lecture of the University,” he said.
Earlier in a remark, Brigadier-General JOJ Okoloagu (Rtd) who chaired the occasion expressed appreciation to the university for finding him worthy to chair the occasion, adding that he would continue to be proud of UNN as his alma mater.
He said that it was a home coming to his alma mater where he graduated forty years ago.
“I am happy to chair this occasion as graduate of this university, am proud with achievements of UNN nationally and internationally.
“I am also happy in the choice of Gov Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, one of the performing governors in the country as the guest lecturer of UNN 61st founders day lecturer, “he said.
The highlight of the occasion was cutting of the anniversary cake by Gov. Udom and other dignitaries.