LG Chair Promises More Jobs As FG Partners Akwa Ibom To Revamp Paper Mill

LG Chair Promises More Jobs As FG Partners Akwa Ibom To Revamp Paper Mill


The Chairman of Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Etetim Onuk has expressed worry at the growing number of unemployed youths, noting that such problem remains clear danger and security threat to Akwa Ibom and the entire Niger Delta region.

Speaking in an interview in Uyo, the state capital, Onuk, who noted the gab in unemployment ratio among the active population pointed out that such problem could be tackled by the Federal Government through the revitalization of moribund industries.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to work towards ensuring that ailing industries are resuscitated as a way to create employment opportunities for the growing out- of-work-population.

 Onuk, who led members of the Federal Inter Ministerial Committee on Resuscitation of Paper Mills and officials from the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Trade and Investment, on a tour of the moribund Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC) at Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area, expressed optimism that if the plant was revived, the crises of umeployment could be reduced.

Onuk said there was need for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to consider rehabilitating the paper mill which he said would not only ensure meaningful engagement of thousands of the citizens, but also stimulate the economy of the Local Government Area, while boosting the newsprint needs of the newspaper business in Nigeria.

He recalled that since the company went moribund several years ago, the place had been inactive, leading to the wanton plundering of the facility by the vandals and criminals.

The Council boss, therefore, charged all stakeholders to imbibe what he described as  “maintenance and sustenance culture” as the Federal Government commenced moves to revamp the plant.
Besides, the Itu Chairman commended the administration of governor Udom Emmanuel for his support during the facility assessment tour, which he said would yield positive result in the nearest future.

“I am hopeful that the company will be rehabilitated and the vast land used for some other beneficial ventures”, he said and commended the Federal Government’s Committee “for embarking on a meticulous and an on the spot assessment of the facility”.Addressing newsmen, the leader of the federal evaluation team and Assistant Comptroller of Customs; Mrs. Rebecca Akpan, said the Committee’s mission to Akwa Ibom State was “to ascertain the exact status of the paper mill in Oku Iboku and report same”.

She thanked the Council Chairman for personally leading them on the tour of the facility and disclosed the Federal Government’s passionate desire to rehabilitate moribund industries across the country, a position which was corroborated by another member of the committee; Mr. Abdulaziz Muazu Mafindi of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Other members of the assessment delegation include; Dr. Aina Kehinde; Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, T. G. Allu; Central Bank of Nigeria headquarters, Abuja, Daniel Oduobuk; Director Commerce; Ministry of Trade and Investment, Asian L. Umoren; Chief Commercial Officer; Ministry of Trade and Investment, Uyo and Mr. Effiong G. Ukofia; Senior Industrial Promotions Officer; Ministry of Trade and Investment, Uyo.

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