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Saturday, September 28, 2019


The Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District is, indisputably, the guarantor of the number one oil producing status to the state. It is not debatable the fact that Ikot Abasi, Eket, and Oron, which were commercial nerve centres of this part of the country are now shadows of themselves. In other words, industries have come and gone without any enduring impact on the inhabitants of the District.

However, a new dawn is here through the establishment of new industries, including the anticipated Ibom Deep Seaport by the present administration in Akwa Ibom State. Now, how prepared are the people of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District for the future?

This unique question gave birth to the Roundtable which has brought up the following resolutions:
The Roundtable is not a political machinery, but a social arrangement with which to map out beneficial future for economic liberation of the people of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District.

The Roundtable should be a continuous meeting until the aims and objectives of the initiative are achieved.
Despite the heterogeneous nature of the District, with four ethnic groups, the meeting charged the people to work together in the pursuit of common goals; share with others what is found in their location, even though they may take the lion share.

It was decided that the people should do away with complaints and adopt a new approach in their quest for economic emancipation.

The Roundtable identified poverty and lack of knowledge as major reasons for frictions in the political space and therefore urged participants to effectively prepare themselves for huge financial benefits from the emerging industries in Eket Senatorial District.
The two-day event also stressed the need for collaboration through joint venture by the people if they are to produce big results.

Participants were told to be willing to present to relevant quarters those proposals that can bring about economic liberation and put food on their tables.
The meeting advised the people to strive to establish businesses before getting involved in politics, even as it harped on the need for those in politics to embark on sustainable investments while in office.

Having identified lack of integration as one of the cardinal problems in the country, the need to adopt a workable principle of integration among the component segments of the District was brought to the front burner.
Similarly, participants were told to look at what is making others succeed and bring them to bear in their land; in other words, emulate them.
The Roundtable charged the District to provide mass education for the people if they need to break the backbone of illiteracy.

The need to fear God and trust in Him in building a future for the Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District and insistence on morality to build a great society was strongly emphasized.
In the quest for education, establishment of more public and private universities was advocated alongside creation of institutions with capacity to support industrialization process.

It was also resolved that programmes of training be designed to train the youth, empower them through the creation of strong financial empowerment think-tank committee with the responsibility to manage, monitor and evaluate progress.
In prioritizing intellectualism in representative democracy, the summit challenged the intellectuals to be involved in the politics of their communities, and advised delegates to relegate money as the basis for electing representatives.

Similarly, participants were enjoined to henceforth address issues of representative democracy in a detailed intelligent manner without involving emotion.
To build capacity for emerging opportunities as a way of going out of poverty, the meeting identified critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication and creativity as skills required in the 21st century and asked participants to get themselves abreast with those skills.

The Roundtable also proposed that in order to reduce youth unemployment in the oil-rich Senatorial District, the factors of entrepreneurship, long vacation jobs, early career guidance, industrial training, agriculture, youth empowerment programmes and other investments should be considered.

Submission was also made that resolutions should be roundly implemented while the Roundtable should be adopted as a quarterly event, especially for purpose of monitoring of progress.
The meeting observed the non-availability of papers presented by resource persons to participants and urged organizers to address the situation in future meetings, create a database and action plan.

Furthermore, the summit acknowledged leadership as a collective responsibility and reminded delegates that they have roles to play in bringing about systematic change.
The meeting agreed that  the first set of beneficiaries will come out of the three hundred participants to test-run the poverty eradication programme which the Roundtable seeks to address.

Participants were also told to avail themselves of loan facilities provided by government and donor agencies to start or expand businesses.
Finally, the forum also adopted the call for social accountability alongside financial accountability from leaders and strongly advocated commitment to the future by those in authority.

The summit expressed gratitude to the Convener of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District Roundtable and the Hon. Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen, for demonstrating genuine commitment to taking the people out of poverty.

The effort of the Programme Coordinator, Sir Ubong Ekefre, was highly appreciated. It is expected that the resolutions of the Roundtable will be fully implemented for the benefit of all.




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