The Government of Akwa Ibom State has reached an agreement with the London Borough of Southwark, and Akwa Ibom indigenes in the United Kingdom to have exchanges on both the educational and cultural levels. Those agreements were reached at separate meetings held by the Governor with the Mayor of the Borough, Michael Situ and some indigenes of Akwa Ibom State resident in the United Kingdom.
At the Council Hall of the London Borough of Southwark, the Governor, Pastor Umo Eno was received by the Borough’s Worshipful Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other members of the Borough’s Council. Mayor Situ in his speech proposed a twinning of his borough and the Capital city of Akwa Ibom State, hinting that this alliance will be mutually beneficial. Governor Eno appreciated the proposition made by the Mayor for a twinning partnership between the Borough and Uyo Local Government Area, which he directed the Honourable Commissioner for Local Government to facilitate. The Governor proposed an education and cultural exchange on both Government to Government(G2G) and Business to Business(B2B) levels, for the mutual benefit of both parties. The Governor also proposed an exchange between teachers and students in both climes to undertake knowledge-sharing on teaching methods and other education related deliverables.
The Mayor expressed great delight in the Governor’s visit and optimism about the benefits that the collaboration between the two governments can bring. He said his officials were ready to visit and commence deeper discussions on the areas of bilateral interest. Mayor Situ gave the Governor some official Memorabilia from the Borough of Southwark.
Thereafter, the Governor attended a meeting with some Akwa Ibom citizens, where he briefed them on the promises and prospects embedded in the ARISE Agenda and the diaspora opportunities therein . He expressed his readiness to collaborate with Akwa Ibom citizens in the diaspora throughout his tenure. Governor Umo Eno expressed confidence in the capacity of the diaspora to contribute positively to the economic development of the state.
Making their contributions at the meeting, Dr. Ikpe Emmanuel Ibanga (course director at Leeds Beckett University), Dr. Itoro Akpan (lecturer at Staffordshire University), Koko Udom Esq (Construction, Nuclear and power expert), Francis Nkanang (Senior staff, Barclays Bank), Mercy Umoh Cyber Security expert), Itiemoh Imoh (Programme Leader Coventry University), Enobong Bassey(Hydrographic Surveyor) , Emem Ekanem ( lecturer University of Greenwich), offered their expertise to help the state to move forward along the lines of integrated development. They further appealed to the Governor to interact frequently with the Akwa Ibom community in the United Kingdom.
Earlier on, the Governor attended the London Political Summit, where his predecessor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, was the Keynote Speaker. Making his remarks at the summit, Governor Eno marketed the State as a destination of choice, inviting those in attendance to consider Akwa Ibom as the best destination for their investment and leisure. He had the honour of presenting the award of MP of the Year to Rt. Hon. Jonathan Ashworth, who has been the Member of Parliament representing Leicester South since 2011. The Governor congratulated the Labour Party MP and other awardees for the recognition.
Governor Umo Eno was accompanied by Prince Enobong Uwah, Secretary to the State Government, Rt. Hon. Frank Archibong, Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, Chairman Maintain Peace Movement, Engr. Uwem Okoko, and Dr. Frank Ekpenyong, SSA on ICT and Digital Matters.
These collaborative efforts indicate a strategic milestone in creating and strengthening international partnerships and promoting cultural and educational exchange, in addition to fostering a sense of community among Akwa Ibom citizens in the United Kingdom.
Comrade Ini Ememobong
Honourable Commissioner for Information
Akwa Ibom State