A 20-member committee put together by the Akwa Ibom State government to reposition the state for the post-COVID-19 economy has submitted its report to Governor Udom Emmanuel. The report was submitted on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at an event which had in attendance the governor and members of the State Executive Council. The committee which had Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, a former Director-General of the West African Institute for Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM) as Chairman and Prof Emmanuel Onwioduokit, HOD, Economic, the University of Uyo as Secretary; also boasts a number of prominent entrepreneurs including Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman, Zinox Group; Udom Inoyo former Executive Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil as well as other eggheads from the corporate and academic circles as well as seasoned administrators in its fold. The 142-page report was divided into nine chapters, each of which addressed specific areas of interventions or terms of reference on what should be done in rejigging and restructuring Akwa Ibom state to navigate the post-COVID-19 world. Equally important, the report was classified into three different time frames, namely the immediate, short term and long term interventions. \tThey include the mental orientation of the people, especially the youths \tFocus on agriculture, industry and service as the potential mainstay of the Akwa Ibom economy in a post-COVID-19 world without oil \tMassive efforts to continue the industrialization process in the state increased participation of the youth in the economy and stamping out of cultism\/other criminal activities in the state \tCompletion of the Science Park to serve as a Silicon Valley of sorts for Akwa Ibom state as well as for job creation and improvement of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) \tMassive investment in infrastructure \tRe-visitation of the state\u2019s waterways transportation \tFull autonomy for the state\u2019s internal revenue board by disengaging it from the public service and the establishment of clear targets for it \tRecapitalization of state-owned financial institutions such as the Akwa Saving & Loans Ltd. and provision of credit facilities for low-income housing for residents \tSet-up of an independent data generation institution to aid the state\u2019s planning purposes \tInauguration of an Economic Advisory Council to assist in the conceptualization, formulation and implementation of government policies \tEstablishment of a Reserve Fund to see the state through lean periods; recommendation of an exit plan for the state\u2019s commercial ventures \tIdentification of low-hanging fruits that the state can immediately take advantage of and the creation of a 30-year strategic development plan to be passed into law in the state. Receiving the committee\u2019s report, Governor Udom heaped praises on the members of the committee for completing its work within the one-month time frame outlined. Specifically, he singled out two non-indigene members of the committee \u2013 the Zinox Chairman, Dr Ekeh and Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, Director-General, Institute for National Transformation \u2013\u00a0\u00a0 for special praise. \u2018\u2018On behalf of the good people of Akwa Ibom State and the Executive Council, I want to appreciate the members of this committee, beginning from the Chairman, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, the Secretary, Prof Emmanuel Onwioduokit and most especially those our brothers, Prof. Anigbogu, Leo Stan Ekeh and our sister Mary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as busy as she\u2019s been who still created time to serve her state irrespective of her busy schedule. \u2018\u2018I really want to appreciate all of them specifically and convey the gratitude of our own people. I want to say we are grateful to Prof. Anigbogu, to Leo Stan Ekeh and all the Akwa Ibomites who have served on this committee.\u2019\u2019 Reacting to the recommendations of the committee, the Akwa Ibom Governor disclosed that his administration will implement every single one to the letter. He also commended the innovative ideas for repositioning the state and empowering the youths through ICT, even as he welcomed the idea of mental re-orientation. \u2018\u2018The only way forward and the fastest approach; I believe when I read your report, I will see as one of the low-hanging fruits, is to drive our youths through ICT. For this, we have to work with our brother, Leo Stan Ekeh, a friend of the state, who in fact, we must give a local government which he will adopt as the one he hails from in Akwa Ibom; so that he can help us drive the aspect of youths and ICT.\u2019\u2019 Referencing the growth of platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Netflix, the governor affirmed that COVID-19 had created a number of business opportunities for people through ICT, noting that a lot more are coming. \u2018\u2018I wouldn\u2019t want Akwa Ibom to be left behind,\u2019\u2019 he declared. On the 20-year strategic development plan for the state, Udom expressed excitement with the recommendation. Also, he stated that the Executive Council was working on a similar proposal, noting that the proposal had undergone two reviews. Subsequently, he assured of his commitment to conclude the economic plan as quickly as possible. Equally important, he revealed the immediate set-up of a five-member implementation committee headed by the Committee Chairman, Prof. Ekpo to see to the immediate execution of the report submitted by the committee. Others include the Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Onwioduokit; former Executive Vice Chairman, ExxonMobil, Mr Udom Inoyo; Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet and Hon. Eno Uwan.