Tuesday, 25 August 2015

AKSG is committed to strengthening State’s statistical system - Commissioner

Dr. Emmanuel Ating Onwioduokit
The importance of statistics in economic planning and overall national development has been underscored.
The Commissioner for Economic Development, Dr. Emmanuel Ating Onwioduokit made this known when the executive members of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), Akwa Ibom State Chapter,paid a courtesy call on him recently.  Dr. Onwioduokit explained that statistics was key to any meaningful planning, stating that greater results and efficient resource allocation and application were achieved when projections were based on reliable data.

He mentioned that the present administration was committed to strengthening the State’s statistical system and commended the NSA for the visit, which he said was timely.
Dr. Onwioduokit challenged members of the Association to produce data on areas which would not only help in the development of the State, but would measure the rate of development, to ensure that the State was making progress.
The Commissioner acknowledged the critical role the Association plays in the overall progress and development of the State and assured them of the State Government’s readiness to provide the needed assistance to move the association forward.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Elder Eyaekop Umanah expressed appreciation to members of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) for the visit and disclosed that the annual conference of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) and African Statistical Day were statutory and serves as training grounds for statisticians, hence its inclusion in the Ministry’s budget.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Nigerian Statistical Association, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Mr. Michael Ukpong who congratulated the Commissioner on his appointment to the Executive Council of the State mentioned that the NSA was established in 1976 to develop all aspects of statistics for the country’s economic development and to enhance the quality of statistics as well as promote statistical appreciation amongst the populace.
Mr. Ukpong informed the Commissioner that the Chartered Institute of Statistical of Nigeria (CISON) Bill has been signed to law and urged the State to key into some of its provisions.
The Chairman also sought for cooperation to train more of its members employed by the State Government and equally appealed for the State Government’s sponsorship of its members to attend the 29th Annual Conference and 14th Pre Conference workshop of the Association, holding at Oshobgo, Osun State from September 7 to 11, 2015.

... assures of State Government’s readiness to create right environment for SMEs to thrive

The role of Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as drivers of employment globally have been emphasised. The Commissioner for Economic Development, Dr. Emmanuel Ating Onwioduokit made the emphases when members of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) led by it Centre Manager, paid a courtesy call on him.
He asserted that the problem of unemployment would be greatly reduced if the structures of SMEs were strengthen and assured them of the State government’s readiness to continue to create the right environment for SMEs to thrive in the State.
Dr. Onwioduokit, who commended the efforts of SMEDAN in the Akwa Ibom, however harped on scientific data and documentation, and tasked the organization to furnish his office with data of its achievements through the last eight years, as well as state the gaps remaining and ways the Ministry could assist.
 He said he was impressed by the ideas articulated by the group but admonished the members not to rest on their oars but to continue to work hard in order to achieve more successes, even as he urged them to seek funding from the Federal Government as the State resources has been on the decline due to the fall in oil prices.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Elder Eyaekop Umanah also commended SMEDAN for being able to train eleven thousand SMEs so far, adding that reaching the youths was paramount to the State government’s profile.
He urged SMEDAN to sustain its commitment to help stem the tide of unemployment in the State.
In her address, the Centre Manager of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State, Lucy Ekpenyong, said (SMEDAN) is a Federal Government Agency established with the mandate of developing and promoting Small and Medium Enterprise in the State where it is located.
Lucy Ekpenyong said SMEDAN has helped built the capacity of over 11,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in the State, as well as link indigenous Small and Medium Enterprises to available funding from Bank of Industry, among other achievements.
The Centre Manager said her centre will collaborate with the Ministry of Economic Development to address problems impeding systematic development and growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in Akwa Ibom State.
She sought the support of the State Government to provide a mobile business clinic to help offer free business development support services to entrepreneurs in remote communities and to also assist in Small and Medium entrepreneur Survey, aim at providing baseline data for policy initiatives and intervention in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise sector.    

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