Conversation with intellectuals as Gov Eno kick-starts 'ARISE Agenda'

Pastor Umo Eno

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom

By Tony Udoh

It was indeed a gathering of intellectual titans in Akwa Ibom state and beyond as subject matter experts from different walks of life gathered to discuss and enrich the economic development blueprint of the state government tagged, “ARISE Agenda.”

Speaking at the event held at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, the Governor said the dialogue was basically to collate ideas from professionals in different subject areas to fleshen the economic development blueprint.

He noted that the ARISE Agenda was already detailed and well articulated, but for a successful implementation, it was necessary to have contributions and the buy – in of the citizens.

According to him, “the ARISE Agenda is a detailed and well articulated government document, which we have painstakingly assembled. We could have gone ahead with the implementation without exposing it to further analysis, but we felt our dear people should have a buy-in and take ownership in its articulation and eventual implementation.”

“My blueprint focuses on the achievements of eight ambitious but lofty goals through the provision of five group aspirations collectively called the ARISE Agenda. The ARISE Agenda is an acronym for Agricultural revolution, Rural development, Infrastructural maintenance/Industrial development and advancement, Security management and Educational Advancement.

“This is further broken down into 17 focal sectors, detailing what we intend to achieve in each of the sectors in the short to medium and long term. To add more flesh to what we propose to achieve in each sector is what informed the need for this dialogue,” he said.

Governor Eno appreciated the people of the state for the mandate given to him to superintendent over the state and appealed to all, irrespective of political divide to join hands in recreating a dream Akwa Ibom.

In his words, “I thank Akwa Ibom people for the overwhelming support you gave to us during the electioneering campaigns and the mandate you entrusted on us on March 18, 2023 to superintend over the affairs of this great state. Akwa Ibom State belongs to all of us, and we have no other state to go to; except this great state.

“Whether you live in Abuja or in Kano, or in southern Nigeria or in the West or wherever you live, so long as you are an Akwa Ibomite, this is your state. So let’s unite and eschew hatred, eschew bitterness, eschew politics of destruction, and deepen the course of our unity. We must reverse to the sustainable growth and development of this great state,” he added.

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In his remarks, the Special Guest of Honour, former governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel said Governor Eho has started well and deserves the support of everyone to allow him concentrate and serve the state better.

He noted that the state is blessed with rich human resources and urged the Governor to tap into this nature’s endowment for the implementation of the ARISE Agenda.

The former governor expressed optimism that if backed with action, the well articulated focal areas of the ARISE Agenda is capable of transforming the state to become the envy of Africa.

Also speaking, former governor of the state and father of modern Akwa Ibom, Obong Victor Attah said the event was a restoration of a dream that was begining to fade, adding that while the dialogue and the blueprint were lofty, implementation was more important.

On his part, the chairman on the occasion, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma said he was impressed when contacted for the event and commended Governor Eno for keeping to his campaign promise of an all- inclusive governance.

While saying the event was apt with rich focal areas, he urged the facilitators and resource persons to concentrate more effort on the “how” element of the plan rather than the what.

Setting the tone for the event, the Economic Adviser to the governor, Dr (Mrs) Uduakobong Inam said the ARISE Agenda was not a short or long term plan but a precursor to a long term development plan.

“As we may all be aware, the United Nation global agenda for development, we are in the last decade of action for the achievements of the 17 sustainable development goals. As we may equally be aware, Africa’s 2063 development plan is already on course and Nigeria’s 50-year development plan is equally on course.

“So in line with global, continental and national dictate, Pastor Eno is equally committed to giving Akwa Ibom a long term development plan. So the ARISE Agenda which we are celebrating today is actually a precursor for a 35-year development plan that will soon come to fore. It is an interesting time for our dear state,” she added.

The event which will climax with a launch of the ARISE Agenda on Thursday, focuses on different areas including; ICT, health, public sector development and good governance, agriculture, infrastructure, women and children, environment, housing, transportation, power, rural development, tourism, and security amongst others.

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