The Senior Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State Governor on Research and Documentation, Dr Essien Ndueso has said that it would be unfair for anyone to criticise Governor Umo Eno and his predecessor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for the temporary suspension of operations at the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing (JSM) company, established by former.
Essien, while speaking on ‘Arise Akwa Ibom’ a popular radio program on Comfort 95.1FM in Uyo at the weekend, blamed the current Nigerian business environment for the continuous exit of multinational companies.
It would be recalled that the company capped the largest syringe manufacturing company in Africa inaugurated in 2017 by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The firm announced last week a temporary suspension of operations and cited unforeseen circumstances affecting its business operations as the major reason for its decision to leave Nigeria.
Essien frowned at some critics who attempted to score cheap political points from the unfortunate situation adding that the current national economic crisis is the major reason for the company’s temporary setback
“We all know that since the removal of fuel subsidies, Nigeria is undergoing a serious economic crisis. Foreign exchange, import duties, and interest rates are the reasons companies are closing down in Nigeria.
“Outside Akwa Ibom State, several SMEs, according to reports, have completely shut down operations while several big names have also scaled back operations. Reports on Business Day newspaper indicate that companies like GSK Plc, Nigeria’s second-biggest drug producer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unilever, producers of famous brands like OMO, Sunlight and Lux have also announced cease of operations”
He also reacted to some critics who described the international worship center built by former Governor Udom as a misplaced priority.
Essien dismissed such assertions and explained that there is nothing wrong in having a befitting central place of worship in Akwa Ibom State which is 99 percent dominated by Christians.
“While prayers move mountains, praises move God. Before the Worship Centre was built, Akwa Ibom people, who are devoted Christians, used to gather under the sun at Ibom Hall grounds to praise God and for all other religious activities.
“For those who say that the money used to build a befitting temple of God would have been channelled into other things, let me ask; those states that haven’t built international worship centers, do they have free and compulsory education? Do they have better roads than Akwa Ibom State? Do they have more peace than our dear Akwa Ibom State? In what way are they better than Akwa Ibom State?
“When people talk about generation of revenue, have they told us how the Statue of Liberty in US generates revenue?
“The same people who gather every year to source for funds and visas to travel to the Middle East to go and worship God, are now turning around to criticize a befitting center of worship that would engender religious tourism by our people.
“If the government in a State named after God ought not to build a centre of worship for God, would they rather have built a shrine” he asked.