Lagos, Nigeria - Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region has decided to honour ECOWAS by naming the main hall of an International Conference Centre now under construction in the capital city of Uyo after ECOWAS, as a tribute to the organisation for promoting integration, peace and stability in the region.
According to the ECOWAS Commission, State Governor Godswill Akpabio Thursday told a visiting delegation of the commission, including its President, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, Vice-President Toga McIntosh, Commissioners as well as Ambassadors of Member States, that the Hall would be equipped, among others, with facilities for simultaneous translation into 52 languages, including those spoken in the country and the continent.
He described integration as an important vehicle for developing the region and realising its full economic potentials by deploying its vast human and material resource endowments, adding that Akwa Ibom would leverage the benefits for its own development.
The Governor also briefed the delegation, which was in the State for a three-day retreat, about plans by the Government to also avail itself of the ECOWAS platform to establish partnerships for the development of the state, citing a recent agreement with a Ghanaian computer company to set up in the state to boost job creation and transfer of knowledge.
In addition, the state is also building a Deep Sea Port to improve intra-regional trade.
Earlier, President Ouédraogo, who was visiting the state for the first time along with some other members of the delegation, briefed the governor on the purpose of the retreat and described as 'exceptional' the achievements of the government.
'For us, the retreat is an opportunity to review our programmes as well as discuss and harmonise views on how to implement our priority programmes in line with the directives of Heads of State and Government,' the President said during the meeting with the Governor, which was attended by the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Ike Ekweremadu and the President of the Community Court of Justice Nana Awa Daboya.
The 7th annual Retreat of the ECOWAS Commission, Community Institutions, Permanent and Special Representatives and Heads of National units, the first under the Commission’s present management, provides an opportunity to strengthen relations between the Commission and member states in the coordination and implementation of regional programmes at the national level.