Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is tasked to throw its weight behind the industrialization policy of Akwa Ibom State government.
MAN is also tasked to support government’s effort aimed at beefing up manufacturing and automation in the industrial sector to create jobs for the unemployed.
Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel gave the tasks last Thursday, during the 14th Annual General Meeting/Public Lecture by MAN, Cross River/Akwa Ibom branches, held at Watbridge Hotels and Suites, IBB Way, Uyo.
Emmanuel who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said Akwa Ibom after Lagos State was fast becoming an industrial hub in Nigeria, thanking MAN for the choice of Uyo for their AGM.
“From the available records and data, after Lagos, the most sought after destination for investors is Akwa Ibom. One of the major reasons is that the Governor himself is from the private sector and is very keen on contributing his own quota, as Governor of the state to the rapid growth and socio- economic development of the state.
“The Governor is very keen about local content, to bring about sustainability in our industrialization drive and to provide the manufacturers with the enabling environment. You need access road to your project sites; you need transportation; you need electricity.
”That’s why the Governor last year created a new Ministry called Ministry of Power and Petroleum Development, which we never had in the state,” he said.
Emmanuel noted that in ICT world, food is to the human body, what electricity is to the economy, saying that without electricity, man cannot thrive and if man is unable to thrive, there would be mass unemployment that can lead to mass insecurity.
The national president of MAN, Engr Mansur Ahmed said the world was fast closing into a single market and that manufacturers must be ready to nurture the industry to grow naturally and welcomed dignitaries and members to the event.
Mansur called on members of MAN to provide accurate data, in regards to what they need, so that government can proffer solution to their problems, with the view to moving the industry forward.
He congratulated the branch on the occasion of their 14th Annual General Meeting and said the meeting was coming on the heels of the 50th anniversary of MAN, which was on May 7, 2021 and intimated their guests of preparations and activities lined up for the Golden Jubilee celebration of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
The president, therefore, urged members not to give up in the struggle, but should continue to engage government in order to become more successful.
Earlier, the branch chairman, Engr Giandomenico Massari had commended Akwa Ibom and Cross River State governors for their bold steps in such key areas as infrastructure upgrade in the two states, centralization of revenue collection by the State Internal Revenue Service, creation of job avenues for the teeming youths and reduction of multiple taxation, just a few.
Massari said the association has witnessed great support from MDAs, both at the state and Federal levels, which according to him, had given their esteemed members great relief and confidence in doing business in the states.
The MDAs, according to him, include the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Internal Revenue Service, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Bank Of Industry (BOI), National Agency For Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), among other government agencies.
He said his Council has introduced several innovations to the association, some of which include provision of a well-equipped secretariat to serve as a one-stop shop to attend to the needs of its members, as well as interface with government agencies in resolving some teething problems, strengthening the implementation of the Made-In-Nigeria exhibition, among others.
High point of the event was presentation of Excellence Awards to deserving individuals which include the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel; the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade; the secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Engr Emmanuel Ekuwem and the Director-General of MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi- Kadir.
Other awardees were the national president of MAN, Engr Mansur Ahmed, the Deputy Ambassador of Italy Charge of Affairs, Dr Tarek Chazli, the national president, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Engr Babagana Mohammed, the commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Akwa Ibom State, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, the chairman of Ibom Power Company, Engr Etido Inyang, among others.
Speaking with newsmen later, the Executive Secretary of MAN Cross River/Akwa Ibom States’ Chapters, Mr Offiong Eyo Essien said during the year under review, the branch has been involved in a number of activities, which include council and committee meetings, where far reaching decisions were taken and recommendations made.
Offiong said efforts were made to improve their service delivery to member companies and thanked the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and other dignitaries for gracing the event.
Also interacting with the newsmen after the event, the Executive Secretary of Uyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Akwa Ibom State, Barr Charles Eyo said he was impressed with the large turn-out for the event.
He saw the proposed branch office of the Bank of Industry in Akwa Ibom State as a welcome development, and pledged their readiness to synergise with MAN as the umbrella of the organised private sector in the state.