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Building The Future: Inyang-Eyen Motivates ESD Youths Towards Self-Reliance

By Tony Anichebe


Youths are critical part of the future of any nation and no doubt the future leaders. Every nation’s destiny more or less resides in the hands of her youths who are significantly the most vibrant group in the country.
In Nigeria generally and Akwa Ibom State in particular, youths are facing several challenges mostly having to eke better life through the opportunities of acquiring skilled labour or getting white collar jobs.
The later which has remained elusive and scarce over the years however remains a priority in the minds of several youths, prompting them to search endlessly, years after graduation and unconsciously become ‘executive’ beggars and political thugs.
Worried by the gradual erosion of dignity among our youths occasioned by the culture of seeking alms –using various street languages like “landing”, “park well” and becoming irate visitors at the gates of public officers, Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-Eyen, Commissioner for Works, Akwa Ibom State has chosen to lead the crusade for youths liberation in Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District via a Round Table Conference tagged: Building the Future packaged to inspire and stimulate conversations amongst the youths on the way forward for economic and industrial development in Akwa Ibom.
On the reason he embarked on this journey at this critical time, Inyang-eyen said Eket Senatorial District must take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities in the region now.
According to him, “there must be total reorientation of the mindset of the people by not sitting on the fence to complain but rather engage their hands in fruitful ventures that will change the status quo”.
Continuing he retorted, “We have been complaining for so long. But for how long are we going to grumble? So, it is time to think and use our ideas, talents and resources for our collective growth. Our Governor has done so well in opening our Senatorial District massively with quality roads etc. We need to make good use of these opportunities by being economically and socially empowered”.
He recalled that the South West region is leading in almost every facets of our economy and time is now ripe for Eket Senatorial District people to take the bull by the horn to explore the numerous investment and business opportunities in the senatorial district.
In his words, “It is insane for people to continue to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result. As long as we continue to be consumers without producing anything, we will remain poor financially. As long as you remain a consumer, you can never be rich”.
Going philosophical Akparawa Inyang-eyen asked “And the question is: where did we get it wrong? The answer remains that nobody has told these youths that outside going to school, somebody can still learn a trade and specialize in any craft so as to make a decent living out of such endeavour. A very successful Artisan may actually earn more than those doing white collar jobs. Those who have built good houses know what they spent on their plumbers, electricians and tillers. If our youths who keep waiting for “landing” should go and learn these trades, it will help to better their lives. Nobody is saying that they should not be involved in politics but politics should be a second address according to our Governor.”
In her remarks, Senator Helen Esuene, who was the chairman of the Roundtable expressed gratitude to Mr. Inyang-eyen for putting up the event, saying it is the first step toward fully harnessing the abundant potentials in Eket Senatorial District especially among the youth.
She said, “I believe that for us to be here, we have made a first step. Having made this step, we will reach a thousand miles. The essence of this round table is to open our eyes and minds towards harnessing our potentials to the fullest.”
The Keynote Speaker, Prof. Effiong Johnson of the University of Uyo canvassed that Eket Senatorial District people should be prepared for the investment opportunities that Ibom Deep Seaport will present, advising that they shouldn’t allow opportunity meet them unprepared.
“Don’t let opportunity meet you unprepared. If you don’t talk about the future, it is likely you won’t be there,” Prof. Johnson stated.
Speaking on the topic: Prioritizing Intellectualism in our Representative Democracy: The Udom Emmanuel Example, the Akwa Ibom State PDP Publicity Secretary, Comrade Ini Ememobong called on the educated to get involved in democratization processes and not allow the political space to be dominated by clowns who will outnumber and hijack the entire process. He warned that it will be counterproductive for the intellectuals to remain indifferent to activities that could alter their future.
“There is need to consciously engage intellectualism in governance. Intellectuals must unify. That alone will save our nation from the educated being led by clowns”.
On his own part, a guest lecturer, Dr. Ofonime Inyang in a topic: Examining the context of our past, present, the shortcomings and lessons: Socio-political and Economic called for a University to be provided for in Eket Senatorial District.
He also appealed for Akwa Ibom sons and daughters to be trained to higher level of education so as to enable them take leadership positions in industries and specifically appealed for sustainable empowerment for those who desire to acquire skills.
Dr. Essien Uko in his lecture with the topic: Building Capacity for Emerging opportunities said the people should be prepared to meet opportunities, noting that capacity development was the key.
Dr. Aniekan Brown’s lecture on Transformational Challenge for Systematic Change and Sustainable Development and Investing in Youths said, corruption is not only in financial mismanagement and that social accountability is also corruption. So every politician who failed to fulfill his electioneering promises, is also corrupt and must be held accountable.
Dr. Jude Okokon said, “Investing in youth means preparing the youth to be more educated, responsible, better informed, productive, marketable, enjoyable, healthy, industrious, skillful and self-sustaining to face the future.”
Other speakers posited that government and the political class must support and encourage initiatives that will make the Senatorial District productive. They were strongly opposed to “landing” in politics, describing it as a cankerworm that need to be exterminated to bring sanity to the system. In his welcome remarks, the Coordinator of the Roundtable, Hon. Ubong Ekefre stated that the event is geared towards promoting entrepreneurship development among the youths of Eket Senatorial District.
He added that the roundtable is also designed to identify the entrepreneurial interest of participants and empower them to fulfil their dreams and desires in line with the Dakkada philosophy of Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration as it seeks to inspire and stimulate conversations around the economic wellbeing of the people of the senatorial district.
The two-day event which held at the Banquet Hall of Eden Hotels Ltd in Eket, had youths drawn across the 12 local government areas in Eket Senatorial District in attendance.

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