-By Akan Asindi
Akwa Ibom State biblically, is a promise land blessed by God with milk and honey. It has a land mass of about 7,259 square kilometres, geographically located around the south south geopolitical zone within the Niger Delta region.
Most of the land area can be seen littered with palm trees growing palm front.
Akwa Ibom is one of the most densely populated States of the federation with about six million hard working Princes and Princesses, peace loving people with several delicacies, a state where so many long to visit, the land endowed with human and natural resources some tapped and others yet untapped.
With regards to the forthcoming Akwa Ibom birthday celebration which is slated to hold on the 23rd of September 2020, where the state would be 33 years old, it is imperative, among other factors, to reflect on the state of industries most especially, the federal owned industries located in the state, and to mention, that industrialization is still the best form of economic development in a state where agriculture is the main economic activities.
Let’s not forget also, we are in a time where the regional government is leveraging on agriculture to promote export in a bid to boost Africa’s economy through the Intra – African trade framework of the continental initiative of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Crude oil market is crashing but palm oil market is rising.
However, failed industries like Alscon steel plant, Oku Iboku , Ceramics etc should be revamped but Akwa Palm Industry must be given a priority if Akwa Ibom state and indeed, Nigeria wants to be amongst the top states and countries respectively producing raw materials for manufacturers and exporting agricultural products in Africa.
Palm oil has witnessed a tremendous growth despite being neglected, this confirms the urgent need for improved human and technical efficiency for Akwa Palm industry. Palm oil production is one of the most important sources of income to the Akwa Ibom people therefore, we should not fold our alms and watch the industry collapsed.