Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)

Akwa Ibom State Government is set to partner a foundational leadership programme, Junior Chamber International, Nigeria, to establish a leadership Academy in the State.

The decision came when the leadership organisation paid a courtesy call on Governor Udom Emmanuel in his office in Uyo on Tuesday.

Governor Emmanuel who expressed delight at the visit said, “I keep telling people that the problem with Nigeria is not in unemployment, it is capacity building”, inferring that with the right leadership, unemployment cannot be an intractable problem.

The State Chief Executive noted that since the target of JCI is the Youth population, inculcating in them the right mental attitude and leadership attributes would help in stimulating entrepreneurship and patriotism in that stratum of the society, citing China as a country where its entire revolution is predicated on its domestic market through the influence of its youth population.

Governor Emmanuel said that when China became heavily populated, the country began to tinker with capacity building, leading to the stimulation of the domestic economy as well as stirring patriotism in the people, and noted that the feat has given China mileage and chain effect.

He lauded JCI for adopting similar approach adding, “if JCI can actually impact the way the goals are, even in our tertiary institutions, i’m sure we would have solved a whole lot of problems in Nigeria today”

The State’s helmsman who accepted the proposition to collaborate with JCI asserted that the State would have to know what the pillars of the Academy are, how it will run, what the state stands to get, how it can make us achieve what we want to get and the pride it would confer on the state.

The State Chief Executive noted if “our nuclear institutions and the sub-sets can actually do the right thing, it would dovetail into what we have in global space”, adding that somebody who runs a small organization can make sure that core values that can help society are upheld.

Governor Emmanuel said, “if JCI can actually take the bull by the horn, try to train future leaders, I think there is hope for Nigeria”.

On the request for land for the building of the Academy made by JCI, Governor Emmanuel said, ” two hectares of land is not a problem, we can easily give you two hectares of land to construct the Academy” adding that a team from Governor’s Office would partner with them to bring the project to fruition.

Earlier, the National President of the body, Ms Adetola Ademiniyi-Juyitan thanked the Governor for availing them audience and opportunity, noting that JCI which is present in about 130 countries has a proud record of producing leaders that put back in the different communities they find themselves positive change.

The 2019 National President also said that JCI is present in 30 of the 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory and almost every higher institution of learning in Nigeria and has almost 5,000 members across the country concluding that JCI is the biggest National Organization in Africa.

Also speaking on behalf of the group, Mr Olawale Ogunlana, referred to as “JCI SENATOR ” said that he would like the State to partner with JCI to execute the sustainable development goals, asserting that under Governor Emmanuel’s leadership, Akwa Ibom is gradually evolving as one of the states with the highest number of industries in Nigeria.

Olawale who holds a “Life Membership” in the organization lauded the Governor for his commitment in building and empowering young people adding that just as JCI has a Leadership Academy in Japan were members from over 150 countries gather, they want to replicate same in Nigeria to prepare young Nigerians and even people from across the continent and the Middle East for the responsibility of leadership.

The JCI Senator who commended Governor for the initiative that birthed Ibom Air said that with the airline and a world class seaport, Akwa Ibom is beginning to position itself for global trade.