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Pawrence Ekong

Akwa Ibom state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has received commendations from Members of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association Of Nigeria, ( NACOPPMAN ) over the establishment of coconut refinery in the state.

The State Chairman of NACOPPMAN, Mr. Kinsley Isong gave the commendations recently in Uyo while leading a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong as part of the campaign seeking the propagation and development of coconut as a prime agribusiness product in Akwa Ibom.

Comrade Ememobong who received the guests at the ministry’s headquarters stated that the state government has invested heavily in the establishment of the coconut refinery as a way of diversifying the state economy. He added that when fully completed, the refinery would further fortify the economic landscape of the state.

He said that the decision of the state government to invest in the coconut refinery was due to the fact that the state is naturally endowed with comparative agricultural advantage in growing the plant as well as other considerations given the multiple economic value of coconut oil in the international market.

The Commissioner charged members of NACOPPMAN to ensure that they expand on their capacity to produce more coconuts in order to meet the industrial demand of the refinery. He assured that once the refinery becomes operational, there would be a ready market for their harvests.

The state spokesman remarked at the event that the Ministry of Information & Strategy was ready to give necessary support to the association in the area of publicity and media coverage for its laudable programmes especially as they get set to mark the forthcoming World Coconut Day, 2020 slated for the 2nd of September every year.

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The Info Boss also pledged that his ministry was going to facilitate the production of a well packaged documentary series that would promote the importance of coconut , its economic value-chain and the health benefits derivable from coconut.

Ememobong tagged the visit by NACOPPMAN as: A Business Visit geared towards steering a statewide conversation about the economics of coconut and the Akwa Ibom success story as example. He emphasized that the successful takeoff of the coconut refinery project in the state was a testament to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s pragmatics leadership style and a clear demonstration of his quests to grow the state economy using none-crude resources.

Speaking, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Isong congratulated Comrade Ini Ememobong on his appointment as the state Commissioner for Information & Strategy and described him as an innovative information manager and motivational strategist whose appointment was well deserved.

The state NACOPPMAN leader hinted that following the adoption of coconut as the 6th most important crop in Nigeria under the Coconut Sufficiency in Nigeria ( COSIN ) policy, the association was in the Commissioner’s office to seek collaborations in the area of Creation of a One-stop Information ( OSIC ) Coconut Development Desk and production of Coconut Information Materials.

He intimate that the association has already commenced delivery of training aimed at strengthening the innovative, entrepreneurial and overall competitive capacity of the state agribusiness community to utilise the opportunities and enabling environment provided by state government towards research and development of coconut in Akwa Ibom.

Aside the establishment of the refinery, Mr. Isong also stressed that the gains coconut offers are enormous and it would be of benefit to the citizenry if the state government would establish an Akwa Ibom State Coconut Research and Development Authority ( AKCORDA ) in order to minimise bureaucracy, streamline activities and encourage the business aspects of coconut value-chain in the state.

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The event featured presentation of various sizes of coconuts, coconut water, packaged coconut flesh, coconut chin-chin and other coconut derivable.

High point of the visit was the formal induction of the Commissioner as Eminent Coconut Ambassador for Akwa Ibom State. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mr. Inyang Jameson was also presented with a NACOPPMAN complimentary T-shirt in recognition of his numerous supports to the Information sector helmsman.

Present at the occasion were Heads of Directorates and Units.

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