Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom asked the ECOWAS delegates to become ambassadors of the state.
A multi-purpose International Conference Centre is to be built in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, with the main hall to be named after the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in recognition of its efforts towards promoting integration, peace and stability in the region.
Governor Godswill Akpabio said this to the visiting delegation from the ECOWAS Commission in Uyo on Thursday. He said the hall would be fully equipped with facilities for, among others, simultaneous translation of meeting proceedings into 52 languages, including those spoken in the country, region and continent.
The ECOWAS delegation was made up of the President,www.ecowas.int, the Vice-President, Toga McIntosh, Commissioners and Ambassadors of ECOWAS member states. They came on a three-day management retreat to the state.
Mr. Akpabio acknowledged integration as an important vehicle for developing the region and realizing its full economic potentials. He said Akwa Ibom is prepared to leverage on its vast human and material resource endowments for its development.
The governor also used the occasion of the visit to brief the delegation about his administration’s plans to benefit from ECOWAS platform and establish partnerships for the development of the state, citing a recent agreement with a Ghanaian computer company to set up in the state as part of efforts to boost job creation drive and transfer of knowledge.
He said the state is also planning to build a deep sea port to help improve intra-regional trade as part of the on-going “uncommon transformation,” initiative by his administration. He urged the visitors to become the state’s “ambassadors” having witnessed some of its strides, particularly in infrastructure development.
Mr. Ouédraogo, who was visiting the State for the first time along with some other members of the delegation, briefed the governor on the purpose of the retreat and described as “exceptional” the achievements of the government.
“For us, the retreat is an opportunity to review our programmes as well as discuss and harmonise views on how to implement our priority programmes in line with the directives of Heads of State and Government,” the President said during the meeting, which was also attended by the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and the President of the Community Court of Justice, Nana Awa Daboya.
ECOWAS Commission spokesman, Sunny Ugoh, said the 7th annual retreat of the Commission, the first under the commission’s present management, provides an opportunity to discuss issues to strengthen relations between the Commission and Member States in the coordination and implementation of regional programmes at the national level.