As part of measures to shore up the investment processes in the state, Akwa Ibom State government is to set up information centres at both the arrival and departure wings of the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, for the benefit of investors and tourists trooping into the State.
Additionally, government is set to begin training that will ensure Information Officers become multilingual for ease of business transactions with Chinese and Russian firms moving into Nigeria and particularly Akwa Ibom State occasioned by the investment-consciousness of the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
These are some of the programmes to be vigorously embarked upon by the state government through the Ministry of Information and Strategy during the 2022 fiscal year.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, disclosed these on Tuesday, while appearing before the Rt. Hon Uduak Odudoh-led House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation for the defence of the 2022 capital estimates of the Ministry.
He said with the commitment of government to successfully catapult Akwa Ibom into becoming an investment hub in the sub-region, the Ministry of Information and Strategy is poised to float an information center at the VAIA, a major gateway into the state, where all relevant materials on the investment potentials of the state can be made handy to visitors while all enquiries are promptly attended to.
The state information helmsman further stated that it is the hope of the Ministry that in the least, the first phase of the construction of the Corporate Headquarters of the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC is commenced in 2022 as well as the development of the State Archives.
Making a case for the State Archives, Comrade Ini Ememobong said, with the importance of documentation of relevant government materials, it becomes expedient to develop an archive for the state, as very important information and documents are usually lost within 2 to 5 years, if not properly preserved in an archiving system.
Other programmes budgeted for, in the 2022 capital estimates include: the rehabilitation of the Government Printing Press; the activation of the Goss Community Printing Press and Press Hall of the Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation (AKNC) as well as the Provision of high definition Public Address System and Multi-media equipment to further boost the information sector of government.
The Commissioner said, for these Capital expenditure, the Ministry has made a budgetary provision of Eight Hundred and Eighty-one Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira in the 2022 fiscal year appropriation.
He commended the Finance and Appropriation Committee for the commitment and professionalism brought to bear in the handling of the budget defence and urged members to grant favourable consideration to the budgetary estimates to enable the Ministry attain its lofty goals and aspirations for the 2022 fiscal year.
Responding, the chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Rt. Hon Uduak Odudoh, extolled the leadership style of Comrade Ememobong, acknowledging with appreciation the numerous innovations he has brought into the Ministry since his assumption of office.
The Information Commissioner was accompanied to the budget defence by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Inyang Jameson, the General Manager of Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation, Mr. Umoette Umoette as well as the management staff of the Ministry, those of AKBC and the AKNC.