ByÂ Udo Ibuot
UYOâ€”AKWA Ibom State Government has said it would partner with Belgium in the development of the deep sea port at Ibaka, in Mbo Local Government Area.
The government has also challenged Akwa Ibom sons and daughters in the diaspora to emulate the good example of Effanga Essien, leader of the Ibibio community in Belgium, who sponsored development projects, which the Ambassador came to inaugurate in the state.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Patrick Ekpotu, made the call when he received the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michel Dewez at the Government House, Uyo.
The governor said the Kingdom of Belgium, â€œwell noted for commerce, maritime trade, high technology, industries as well as being the headquarters of the European Union is dear to the heart of Akwa Ibom people.â€
Stressing that his administration will continue to expand the frontiers of development and strive to collapse the traditional boundaries between local governments and tribes by developing the whole state into what he termed â€œone big city state,â€ Akpabio said that development of the state would be anchored on his administrationâ€™s free education policy to give citizens a positive direction.
He urged the ambassador to employ his title ofÂ â€œUfan Akwa Ibomâ€ to project the State and its people, positively to the outside world.
Ambassador Michel Dewez who conveyed the good wishes of the Belgian king and people, said he was in Akwa Ibom to witness the inauguration of water projects undertaken by the Ibibio community in Belgium.
The courtesy call also witnessed the presentation of a plaque with the inscription â€œUfan Akwa Ibomâ€ to the Belgian Ambassador by the International Coordinator of the Akwa Ibom Peoples Forum, AKPF, Bishop Samuel Akpan.