Industrialization: The Governor Udom Emmanuel Magic Formula by Emmanuel Sam

Industrialization: The Governor Udom Emmanuel Magic Formula by Emmanuel Sam

Editor's note: The special assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on local media, Prince Emmanuel Sam, writes on the industrialization policy of the Akwa Ibom state government which has increased the economic prospects of the south-south state.

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Uyo - Industrialization, the development of industries on a broad scale, is one policy vigorously pursued and strategically implemented by the Udom Emmanuel-led administration in Akwa Ibom state that has left many astonished. In just six years, the advantage of the policy has not only changed the status of the state from a core civil service state but a bubbling industrial hub within the south-south region.

Unarguably, industrialization plays a vital role in the economic development of underdeveloped countries through job creation, poverty eradication, and mass production of goods and services. Industries no doubt play a complex role in economic development, but these are some of its most important effects as we have witnessed in Akwa Ibom.

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Governor Udom Emmanuel
The writer noted that Governor Udom Emmanuel has transformed Akwa Ibom economically. Photo credit: Mr Udom Emmanuel
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Even though not on a massive large scale yet, it has increased the revenue base of the state. Yes, we are not there just yet but the journey is on course. The standard of living of many Akwa Ibom households has increased due to the multiplier effect of the industrial revolution ongoing, while economic stability is more sustainable with increased employment opportunities for the many unemployed youths.

The Industrialization policy has promoted the advent of specialized labour as the division of work increases the marginal value product of labour, thus enhancing the profitability of the average Akwa Ibom worker. One area of interest is that the industrial revolution has no doubt brought about a rise and growth in the agricultural sector with increased savings and investments for wealth creation.

The governor's industrialization drive has increased workers' income, enhances their capacity to save and invest. Akwa Ibom today presents an industrialization success story. From 2015 to 2021 alone, the basic foundation that will propel greater economic prosperity has been laid with its attendant consequences of urbanization and population growth. Uyo is fast-growing and expanding due to the influx of people and companies.

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The governor brought his visionary mindset to bear in policy formulation and project conceptualization which birthed the 21-Storey “Dakkada Tower” which stands as a testament to Akwa Ibom's increasing profile as a fast industrializing state. As the governor himself noted recently, the central focus of the government's initial five-point agenda which have now condensed into the 8 point agenda, was to rapidly industrialize the state and change the narrative from a purely civil service orientated state to an industrializing one with the robust manufacturing base.

The fruits have been massive. From the syringe factory to the metering company, to the Flour Mill company, to the Coconut Vir*gin Oil Refinery to the plywood manufacturing company to the signing of the MoU for the commencement of the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone, to the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Sterling petrochemicals and Fertilizer production factory, to the several industrial clusters which produce such items as pencils and toothpicks, plastics, tissue papers, etc, to the rice mills in Ini local government area, and several cassava processing mills, the narrative is indeed changing in Akwa Ibom.

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The $1.4 billion Ammonia and Fertilizer plant alone is one investment that will fetch the state revenue apart from oil while the St Gabriel Coconut Factory alone will generate over 1300 direct jobs and 3000 indirect employment opportunities by September 2021. The Coconut factory has a capacity of processing 300,000 coconuts per shift which will produce 66 tons in a day from three shifts of production while employing 300 people to work in a shift.

Also, the much anticipated Liberty Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in Ikot Abasi local government area of Akwa Ibom state, has taken off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Akwa Ibom state government, and the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, OGFZA. The commencement of operations follows the receipt of the first cargo components, establishment of an Immigration office, and setting up of a dedicated Customs command, in the free trade zone. This will be another stimulant for the Industrial revolution, while the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON located in Ikot Abasi, is on the verge of being resuscitated following a partnership between the Akwa Ibom state government and the federal government.

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The Governor Udom Emmanuel industrialization drive is aimed at ensuring a process by which the state economy is transformed from a primarily agricultural/civil service one to one based on the manufacturing of goods and services with individual manual labour replaced by mechanized mass production. This will trigger an industrial revolution with a more efficient division of labour, the use of technological innovation to solve problems, and inspire creative ingenuity.

Already, in just six years, Akwa Ibom is witnessing an industrialization policy whereby a transformation is taking the state away from an agricultural- or resource-based economy, toward an economy based on mass manufacturing with increases in total income and living standards of the people, and a diversified economy. The policy is all-embracing, with land, air, and sea components which is why the Ibom Deep Seaport, the Ibom Air, and the massive infrastructural expansion are geared towards boosting the pillars needed for its viability and sustainability.

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Ibom Air for instance is today a success story that continues to astonish many. It started as an abstract vision, with a hypothesis that was yet to be ever tested by any state government in the West African region. Critics called it a scam, friends were doubtful about its viability, and fans were skeptical about its possibility of becoming a reality.

Even when no one else saw the vision, Governor Udom Emmanuel saw ahead and realised that a viable aviation sector anywhere promotes an improved quality of life and helps to improve living standards. By facilitating tourism, he believed air transport also helps generate economic growth and alleviate poverty – providing employment opportunities, increasing revenues from taxes, and fostering the conservation of protected areas.

To the governor, commercial aviation has a direct impact on our nation's economy, creating both direct and indirect jobs as air transport is an important enabler to achieving economic growth and development because air transport facilitates integration into the global economy and provides vital connectivity on a national, regional, and international scale while also helping generate trade, promote tourism, and create employment opportunities.

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No doubt air transport generates wider catalytic benefits, with the ability to serve larger markets, impact positively on business operations, influence investment, impact on the labour market, boast tourism, and contribute to world trade.

Experts are quick to agree that an efficient air transport system allows people to have adventures in new countries, to relax on tropical beaches, to build business relationships, and to visit friends and family. As the global economy grows ever more linked, aviation is the factor that brings people together. Aviation brings together a world of facts and figures to give policymakers and the industry an important global view of how air travel creates jobs and drives economic growth.

It impacts the labour market helps improves the labour market by making it easier for companies to attract high-quality employees from around the globe. This is important for senior staff and professionals for whom access to good international links influences their decision on where to live and work.

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Similarly, high-quality employees may find it easier to commute by air on a weekly basis or to be based in two locations; the headquarters and regional office. It improved access to a wider pool of appropriately skilled labour will improve productivity leading ultimately to higher employment in the local economy.

Governor Udom Emmanuel saw when others were doubting that air transport's influence on investment is key as good air transport links influence where companies choose to invest. Many companies consider international transport links to be an essential factor for locating businesses. This makes Air transport one of the world’s most important industries. Its development and its technical and service achievements make it one of the greatest contributors to the advancement of modern society.

An effective air transport system improves the quality of life by broadening people’s leisure and cultural experiences. It provides a wide choice of holiday destinations around the world and an affordable means to visit distant friends and relatives and may provide the only transportation means in remote areas, thus promoting social inclusion.

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By facilitating tourism and trade, it generates economic growth, provides jobs, increases revenues from taxes, and fosters the conservation of protected areas and it's network facilitates the delivery of emergency and humanitarian aid relief anywhere on earth, and ensures the swift delivery of medical supplies and organs for transplantation.

If all these benefits could be derived from the Industrialization policy in just six years, one can only imagine what Akwa Ibom will look like when the Ibom Deep Seaport comes on board, when the Liberty Free Trade Zone begins to flourish, when the multiplier effect of the numerous companies and factories begins to flourish. Indeed, as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo once confessed, under the Udom Emmanuel-led administration in the state, Akwa Ibom remains Nigeria's best-kept secret.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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