With Nigeria and the rest of the world still coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic which has hobbled global economies, the Akwa Ibom State Government is already looking ahead to repositioning its economy for a post-COVID-19 world.
To this effect, the governor, Udom Emmanuel has put together a crack and astute 20-member committee to advise the government on its task of economic reconstruction. Equally important, the committee, drawn from the public and private sector, is peopled by globally renowned entrepreneurs, eggheads from the corporate and academic circles as well as seasoned administrators.
The committee is chaired by Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, a former Director-General of the West African Institute for Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM), with Prof. Emmanuel Onwioduokit, HOD of Economics at the University of Uyo as Secretary.
Among the notable names in the committee is a serial digital entrepreneur and Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh; Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lady Mary Uduk and Executive Vice Chairman, ExxonMobil, Mr Udom Inoyo.
Others include Executive Director, NNPC/NAPIMS, Mr. Hilary Akpan; President, Uyo Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines & Agriculture (UYOCCIMA), Obong Nseyen Ebong; President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria – Akwa Ibom Chapter, Prince Bassey Sampson Inwang; Director-General, Institute for National Transformation, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu; Managing Consultant, NobleHouse Consulting, Sir Inyang Inyang; former Executive Director, NCDMB, Chairman/CEO of Rootcare Pharmacy, Sir Effiong Afiakurue; Executive Director, Agricultural Investments (AKICORP), Pastor Umo Eno; President, Akwa Ibom Business Community (AIBC), Mr Lordswill Umani and Pastor Samuel Archibong of the League of Akwa Ibom Business Association (LABUSA), among others.
Also in the committee are a number of serving commissioners in the current Akwa Ibom administration.
The foregoing was disclosed in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem.
‘‘The current economic challenges, occasioned by COVID-19, have thrown an inexorable necessity on us as a people and Akwa Ibom State has risen to this challenge. To this end, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel has directed that a post-COVID-19 economic reconstruction committee be constituted of the… eminent persons,’’ the release had stated in part.
Equally important, the economic reconstruction committee will be inaugurated on Friday, May 1st by 12 pm.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom has made significant progress with its management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Going by the statistics released by the country’s disease-fighting agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday, April 28, Akwa Ibom had so far recorded 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, it is currently nursing only two active cases after nine patients who previously tested positive made full recoveries and had been discharged. However, it has suffered one casualty as well.
Nigeria is currently battling to rein in the COVID-19 pandemic after an undisclosed Italian who arrived Lagos on March 24, 2020, became the country’s index case.