As part of efforts to enhance the socio – economic growth and drive investment in Itu Local Government Area, the Executive Chairman, Hon. (Barr) Etetim Onuk on Thursday, November 11, 2021 inaugurated a Think Tank, Advisory Council and Bursary Award Planning Committees.
Inaugurating the Committees at the council Secretariat, he noted that the exercise was to set up machineries in motion that will give the much-needed boost to industrious ventures, small and medium scale enterprises aimed at attaining self-reliance and strengthening the commercial fortunes of the area.
He stated that the global economic realities have provoked an urgent need for increased investment in local public infrastructure and requires a systemic approach, hence the committees.
The Chairman recalled that on assumption of office, they had pledged to create and maintain sustainable standards for enhanced economic growth and development of the area, adding that they will continue to initiate and install the necessary frameworks that will accelerate the developmental efforts.
He recounted some of the first term strides in rural development especially, fixing of broken infrastructures like water, electricity and healthcare adding that attention was also given to security and educational grants to students.
Hon. Onuk noted with dismay, the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that despite the challenges encountered, the second term four point agenda has gathered steam with the Itu urban renewal programme underway to open up communities, naming and renaming of streets for easy identification as well as giving a new face to the communities.
According to him, “the desire to transform our area into a modern, investments friendly, economically competitive zone has gone beyond the singular duty of this council. It calls for concerted effort where everyone of us contributes his or her quota to achieve our collective dream. Agreably, we all desire a better life and it is this synergy that will lift us from the dark days where we continue to stand, arms folded, waiting for the government to do everything.
“Let me inform us that we have the human and material resources in abundance and Itu is blessed with the richest tourism potential, an inexhaustible aquatic habitat, as well as a treasure base of valuable solid minerals. All these can be harnessed for our economic growth through proper exploration and utilization which can engage our teeming job seekers on the one hand, and revive the moribund industrial presence and ultimately restore the lost glory,” he added.
The Chairman noted that the Itu Think Tank is an assemblage of professionals of Itu origin within and outside the country with the mandate to advice on a wide range of issues involving trade and investment, agriculture and general commerce through the use of specialised knowledge and activation of networks.
He said the Think Tank Committee will among other things, develop a master plan for the council area, facilitate the establishment of exclusive economic zones in Itu LGA and expedite the development of industrial estates, parks and villages, introduce mechanized farming technique and processing of agricultural produce, facilitate the establishment of palm produce depots in the area and also initiate a 20 – year economic development plan for the area.
The Itu Council Boss maintained that while the Elders Advisory Council will serve as an advisory body that meets regularly and give political support to the Chairman in particular, and the council in general, the Bursary Award Committee is essentially to reorder and formalize existing procedure and strengthen the process of providing bursary and grants to qualified students of Itu LGA.
The event also witnessed the presentation of a new Mace and Parliamentary Robes to the Legislature to give them the needed thrust to continue to perform their lawful duties in accordance with the Constitution.
Itu Elders Advisory Council had the former Secretary to AKS Government, Obonganwan Grace Ekong as chairman and the Commissioner lV AKS House of Assembly Service Commission, Obong Barr. Godwin Awah as Secretary, Itu Think Tank Group had Engr. Anietie Ukpe as the Chairman while the Bursary Award Planning Committee had the honourable Supervisor for Education, Information, youths and sports, Mr Peter Edem and the Information Officer, Comrd. Unyimeobong Ikpe as Chairman and Secretary respectively.