Easter Message: Asuquo Ekpenyong Advocates for Love, Peace and Tolerance

As Cross River State and the rest of the world celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ today, Asuquo Ekpenyong has called on Christian faithfuls and Cross Riverians of other faiths to imbibe fundamental values that would go a long way in promoting and strengthening the foundation of love, peace and harmony in the State, adding that the season should serve as a reminder to all of the selflessness, love, sacrifice and tolerance of Jesus Christ throughout His earthly sojourn, his death and his resurrection.

In his words “May this sacrifice of Easter be the least God will ever do for you.

In all your ways, in your home and family, God will always show up and show strong that each and everyday will be testimonies of joy, fulfillment and great purpose in Jesus name, Amen! He is risen!

He also noted that there was no better time for the State to unite together and eschew resentment than now, adding that no challenge is insurmountable where there is unity of purpose.

Ekpenyong commended Cross Riverians for their continued demonstration and promotion of mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence in spite of existing ethnic, cultural and religious diversities, attributing the successes recorded in the last seven years to the good leadership and governance of Cross River State Governor, Senator Prof Ben Ayade for his immense contribution in making existence to unity of purpose common among residents of the State.

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Breaking: Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, Philip Okonkwo, Helen Chinyere, Others Makes List Of Sub-Committees For The APC National Convention

The Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr has been nominated amongst others to serve as members of the Sub-Committees for the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention.

The Committee which is headed by His Excellency Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, Executive Governor of Kwara State, and assisted by His Excellency Senator Andy Uba as Deputy Chairman is geared towards planning and coming up with strategies for a successful National Convention.

Recall that the National Convention was which was scheduled for February 26, 2022, was postponed to aid the party to have a convention void of anomalies and crisis.

Ekpenyong who is serving as finance commissioner for the second time has been at the forefront of youth inclusiveness in all spheres of government.

He has through several programs and platforms urged the youths to good the bull by the horn and stand up for what is rightfully theirs and stop allowing themselves to be used by some politicians to cause riots and other social vices in the country.

It is believed that the committee will sort out and resolve every issue in the party and come up with a workable plan for the National convention.

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APC Youth Mobilise Over 30, 000 Young People Make Bold to Demands Youth Inclusion Ahead of 2023 Election

The All Progressive Congress Lobby Group, Cross River State organized the first of its kind summit to galvanized Cross River youths to vie for and assume the political position in 2023 elections in the state and Nigeria in general. The event was tagged “Cross River State Youth Summit” which took place at U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.

The event brought together, over 30,000 young people from the 18 local government areas of Cross River State to make their request and galvanize more young people to contest for elections come 2023.

The National Youth Leader of the APC Barr Ismaeel Ahmed in his address stated that this was a progression of the Lobby Committee’s agenda to mobilize the party’s youth to occupy the leadership of the party and informed the youths that all NWC and NEC positions of the party were available for them to vie for in the coming APC convention. He commended the Cross River State Lobby Group for the brilliant effort in mobilizing over 30,000 youth from the 183 wards in the State to attend the summit and pledged to continue working closely with the State Party apparatus

This he said in furtherance of the efforts of the APC National Youth lobby committee that was set up by the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Committee ably led by the Governor of Yobe State His Excellency Mai Mala Buni which began in Abuja with the 1st ever progressives youth conference and thereafter the setting up of the regional lobby committees and then the recent gathering of over 30,000 young people in Ibadan during the South West Progressives Youth Festival.

Speaking also at the summit, the Governor of Cross Rivers State His Excellency Prof Senator Ben Ayade advocated for the youth stating that the future is now and the youth must take their place now and continue to organize and mobilize. In his remarks, he noted that dedication and determination will be required to achieve the desired goal and the youth must learn to look beyond their background and the conditions of their birth.

Earlier in his welcome address the chairman of the local organizing committee Oden Ewa whilst appreciating Governor Ayade for his immense contributions towards the empowerment of thousands of young people in the state, noted that a youth successor to the Governor would be the crowning glory of the efforts.

A member of the National Youth Lobby Committee who is also the Commissioner for Finance Asuquo Ekpenyong speaking during the summit reiterated the position of the youth in ensuring that the youth continue to have a better deal in the scheme of things within the party and the government. He used the opportunity of the summit to appreciate the Governor for his commitment to youth inclusion and empowerment. Stressing that the job going forward is the strengthening of the impact so made by deepening the commitment across Nigeria.

The summit which had more than 20,000 young people drawn from the 16 local governments of Cross Rivers state also had performances from award-winning Kizz Daniel and Iyanya, speeches from Iyinoluwa Aboyade founder of Future Africa, and Kunle Lawal of the Electoral College, also had Gambo Monzo SA Political to President Muhammadu Buhari,  Chairman APC Cross Rivers State Alphonsus Eba Esq, Kanu Agabi SAN, the Deputy Governor Prof Ivara-Esu, the Speaker of Crossriver state Assembly Rt Hon Eteng Jonas-Williams, Senator Ita-Giwa others members of the National Lobby Committee Baffa Saleh, Fatima Kakuri, Abubakar Fakai Sadiq, and many other youth leaders across the APC in Cross Rivers State and national.

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Buhari meets with APC Youth Lobby Group. Directs SGF and Chief of staff to ensure youth inclusiveness in Politics & Governance

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with the APC Youth Lobby Group led by Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed and 9 other members including Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong, Cross River State’s Commissioner for Finance at the Aso Rock Villa. Mr President at the engagement directed and committed to a ramp up of youth inclusiveness in politics & governance.

During the meeting President Buhari directed the SGF and the Chief of staff to ensure monthly engagements with the group to create room for better synergy and cross pollination of ideas.

The President committed to support young people vying for elected offices adding that the leadership of the APC can guarantee full participation of young people at all levels. Mr President also directed the SGF, in liasion with the Lobby Group, to immediately appoint young people with the requisite skills and competence into the various Boards, Agencies and Parastatals currently being constituted.

The group which had in it’s attendance the Cross River State Commissioner for finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong used the occasion to invite the President for it’s first ever Youth Summit holding in Calabar on the 19th of February 2022.


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Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation Facilitates Basic Digital Literacy For Rural Clusters in Cross River State

As the world continue to harp on the gains and merits of technological development, Cross River State benefits from the Basic Digital Literacy training for Rural Clusters.

This is part of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) Vision to transform the country into a leading digital economy providing a better quality of life for all Nigerians in 10 years, the UK Government, via its Prosperity Fund Digital Access Programme, signed an MOU for a training agreement with the Nigerian non-profit organisation, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) and Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation as Partners to conduct the Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Cross River State aimed at Enhancing Pandemic Resilience.

The training programme had over a thousand beneficiaries who had indicated interest across the State and drawn from vulnerable people (50%), People living with disability (30%) and 20% vulnerable groups. 60% of the beneficiaries are in the age groups of 8-18 years and 45-65 years while 30% of the beneficiaries are married and 7 of every 10 are currently pursuing an educational career.

Asuquo Ekpenyong who spoke for the foundation disclosed that the focus is to get as many people as possible, especially in the rural areas to become digitally literate. “The world is fast-moving, and we must move with it. The global village is currently in its 4th Industrial Revolution – The Internet of Things and while It is true that there are gaps in Nigeria, we must work hard to bridge the gap in our competence in the 3rd revolution of Computing & Automation”

He said the Foundation deemed it necessary to support digital & IT skill training to enable our vulnerable and most at risk to develop the competence required to compete in today’s world”.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Offiong Oku a Government retiree revealed that she has gained tremendously from the program over the last 2 weeks. She lauded the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation for facilitating the training while stating “I can now earn supplementary income to my pension all while working from home”.

Tech4development Representative, Ms Goodness Odey disclosed that digital literacy programme is aimed at sparking interest in gaining advanced digital skills or even pursuing a career in technology.

According to her, the Curriculum includes a computing device and internet usage, digital information handling, online communication, online safety, virtual collaboration and exchanges aimed at closing the digital divide, enabling inclusive digital access for all while building communities resilience to current and future pandemics for the digitally-excluded and underserved groups in Nigeria.

The program is built on a Train the Trainer curriculum to enable skills transfer at the community level to further amplify the positive multiplier effect. The major challenges identified were connectivity and access to hard & software infrastructure. The Asuquo Ekpenyong has committed to close this vacuum.

The program recorded huge successes with a current class of 300 people and a commitment by the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation to extend the program for at least 3 other classes due to the waiting list of potential beneficiaries.

The Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation has further committed to equip the best graduating students with the softwares and hardwares required to further develop & deploy their newly learned skills.

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Cross River State Youths to host 30,000 man summit in Calabar ahead of 2023, thanks Governor Ayade for keeping faith with them

Cross River State Youths under the aegis of APC Youth Lobby Group have celebrated Governor Ben Ayade for uplifting young people in leadership position by insisting the time for youths to play more active role in Cross River State has come.

This was made known by the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the youth summit, Mr. Oden Ewa while addressing the press on Wednesday in Calabar on the Youths summit slated for 19 February 2022. This according to him is to celebrate the good gesture Governor Ben Ayade has demonstrated towards youth inclusiveness in the state.

Mr. Ewa stated that the state APC youth lobby group inaugurated in Cross River State two weeks ago is meant to promote youth inclusiveness in governance.

According to him “he has the mandate to organise over 30,000 mega summit at U. J. Esuene stadium. Thereafter, the group will go for door-to-door advocacy with elders to solicit for more inclusion of youths in governance.”

He thanked Governor Ben Ayade for running a youth inclusive government stating that “Participants for this summit will be drawn from all the 196 wards in Cross River State.” He also thanked the Cross River State Executives of the APC led by Barr. Alphonsus Ogar Eba.

Mr. Oden further stated that the committee intends to mobilise youths across the state to key into the APC agenda adding that “It will be a carnival of some sort meant to galvanise support across the state on the mandate of the APC. We have put together a good structure meant to coordinate the 196 wards of Cross River State. Modalities are already in place and we are using innovation to achieve our goal.”

Also speaking, Mr. Francis Ekpo, Special Adviser Ranch Resort to the governor said “This is the only state that you have a lot of youths in government and these youths have all it takes to sustain the legacy of the present administration.”

The Spevial Adviser Tourism, Ubi Franklin said the summit is meant to showcase what the youths have done in the state. He added that “The future is for the young people and the young people have shown capacity when given the chance”

The DG, CRISSA, Mr. Effiom Effiwatt in his remarks stated that “This is a very bold attempt for young people in Cross River State to showcase that we are ready and also give opportunity for other youths who want to be part of the government to come together and make a bold statement that we are ready and come 2023, young people will be heard.”

Also speaking, DG Cross River State Primary Health Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong said “The summit is to appreciate the governor who has been very friendly with youths and women in his government. It is also to encourage more support for the youths to be given opportunity to take up leadership positions in the state. We expect to see all youths because it is time to get involved.”

On his part, Prince Michael Abuo, the DG Migration said “The APC is an idealogy that is geared towards promoting youth participation in governance. There is need for crowdfunding for a youth endowment funds meant to support the aspirations of young people.”

The summit is being put together by youths in governance as well as others from all works of life. Speakers will be drawn from leaders and young people who have impacted positively in the state over the years. They will be drawn from Politics, Entertainment, Business, Education amongst others.

The summit is billed to hold at the UJ Esuene stadium calabar on the 19th of February.

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2023: Odukpani Chair Joins Other Grassroot Groups, Calls On Finance Commissioner, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr To Run For Governor.

As Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general elections, Chairman of Odukpani local government area, Hon. Amb. Justina Edem has called on the state commissioner for finance, Hon. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr to run for the position of governor of Cross River State.

The chairman made the call when she granted interview to some selected journalists on Sunday in Calabar.

According to her, the call had become necessary due to the giants strides of the commissioner, his proven track record as a two term finance commissioner, a great leader and a very intelligent person.
She described the commissioner as the best person to step into the shoes of governor Ben Ayade to continue with the great industrial revolution currently going on in the state.

Chairman of Odukpani LGA acknowledging cheers from supporters in a recent event organized for Asuquo Ekpenyongw Jnr.

The chairman said “this is someone who is naturally very intelligent, smart, gender sensitive and very reliable. He has been able to raise so many people and he is clearly a great leader. So we are calling on him to do us a favor and run for the position of governor come 2023. Cross River State needs someone like him with a youthful strength to carry on the big burden of piloting the affairs of our dear state to the next level”

She enumerated the many achievements of Hon. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr as the state commissioner for finance to include the securing of a $20.4m grant from the world bank, the empowerment of over 2000 women through the Asuquo Ekpenyong foundation among others.

“he is a very compassionate person and we need someone like him at this time in the life of our dear state. He is the person that can reposition the state and take us to our destination” She maintained.

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Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Cross River State to Enhance Pandemic Resilience and Economic Recovery.

In efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19, social distancing and virtual activities has become the new normal.
Digital technology has enabled work, education and communication remotely from the comfort of homes and offices for some, but for millions of people who cannot use technology, the offline world is economically and socially isolated.

COVID-19 has further illuminated the ‘Digital Divide’ in developing countries like Nigeria and especially in the rural clusters in Cross River State. Therefore, it has become pertinent, especially on this path to the new normal, for focus to be placed on digital literacy, to capacitate vulnerable populations to leverage technology for commerce, education, and communication to improve their socio-economic recovery, pandemic resilience, and build a more prosperous future.

To this end, Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation is promoting a 10 day Basic Digital Literacy programme for Cross Riverians. This program is also in line with the Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) vision of transforming Nigeria into a leading digital economy.

This strategy also State that it is important to develop a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens to drive the digital economy agenda. In fact, digital literacy and skills feature as one of 8 pillars the Nigerian government has identified as an accelerator to achieve its vision.

Consequently, digital literacy is no more a nice thing to have; it is a survival necessity for all, given the current mandate and global technology progression.

This programme, amongst others, is aimed at bridging the digital literacy divide among women/ girls and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Cross River State by providing digital literacy training to the most vulnerable groups within our communities. This Basic Digital Literacy programme is designed to empower beneficiaries in basic digital literacy. The program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 & 10 (No Poverty, Quality, Education & Reduced Inequalities). By investing in digital literacy for vulnerable people living in rural clusters in Cross River State, this program will contribute to reducing the poverty index by increasing the employability of beneficiaries and closing the gap of access to digital skills needed in the digital economy

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Youth Summit: APC National Youth Leader inaugurates Youth Lobby Committee in Cross River State

The National Youth Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Barr Ishmael Buba Ahmed on Monday at the Cross River State APC Secretariat inaugurated a youth lobby committee for Political positions in the State.

The National Youth Leader who was received by the Deputy State Chairman Elect of APC, Prince Eka Williams alongside other members of the State Working Committee stressed on the urgent need for APC in the State to place the youths into strategic offices in order to drive the most desired change that Nigerians yearn for. He opined that the global stage has set youths inclusiveness in her vision and so APC will grow stronger with more youths in the party leadership.

Ahmed explained that the Nigerian youth is resilient, energetic and prepared to connect the country to the global stage. He urged the party leadership to pay serious attention to youth inclusiveness in governance.

He went further to inaugurate the Cross River State APC Lobby and Strategic Committee headed by Mr Oden Ewa with members drawn across the three Senatorial districts of the State.

The APC Deputy State Chairman Elect, Prince Eka Williams in his welcome remarks acknowledged the role of youths in politics while assuring the visitors of the States willingness to continue in her youth inclusiveness policy of Senator Prof Ben Ayade were youths under the age of 25-30 years can be found in every Political establishments of the State. He said the party is open to supporting youths in governance and leadership positions across the state.

Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr who is a member of the National Youth Lobby Committee described youth inclusiveness in politics as crucial to good governance and key to Nigeria’s growth. According to him, youths inclusiveness remains a panacea to the nation’s development. He added that when youths are empowered, the nation becomes more vibrant and resourceful.

In his words, the newly inaugurated State Lobby Committee Chairman, Mr Oden Ewa disclosed that the global village has taken the young generation to the forefront, the youths are taking over the global leadership and even markets.

According to him young leaders and very inspiring youths should not be neglected. He stated that APC will wax stronger when youths are taken seriously and given bigger share in the state and National party structure as this is the best time for our dear party APC to take the lead on youth inclusiveness. This will better brand the party and create opportunities for the desired change and progress as one big party.

Oden Ewa assured the party leadership and stakeholders present that the group will deliver on it’s mandate.

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Eniong Abatim Community Eulogises Governor Ayade for having faith in their son Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr

The good people of Eniong Abatim Community in Odukpani Local Government Area on Monday held a surprise welcome back ceremony for their son, Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong and a new year get together event to mark a successful 365 days of love, oneness and unity in the Community.

The ceremony served as a rallying point and mass return for the community and also brought together illustrious sons and daughters of Eniong and beyond to show appreciation to Governor Ben Ayade for all the good things he has done for them.

Chairman of the reception organizing committee, Mr Toni Ikpeme said the essence of the ceremony is that Asuquo Ekpenyong, by virtue of his reputation and political position as a member of the APC National Youth Lobby Committee and scion of the Asuquo Ekpenyong Dynasty is well loved by his people while the entire Eniong Abatim community also holds the Governor in high esteem hence the decision to come together and accord both a deserved reception.

He said appreciation goes to the Governor from Eniong Abatim people for nominating their son at the relatively young age of 30 as Commissioner and honoring their son with a two term appointment as Commissioner For Finance with additional brief as MD Tinapa (2016 – 2017) as well as a brief stint as Commissioner for Transport & Marine Services in 2018.

The Chairman of Odukpani Local Government Area, Hon Mrs Justina Edem in her remarks disclosed that the new year get together was necessary for the people to merry and interact with their leaders. According to her “This also forms the nucleus of the reception for the Commissioner and a job well-done by the Governor for showing faith and believe in Odukpani people serving in his government. She noted the developmental strides of the Governor in Odukpani LGA.

Also Speaking, Commissioner for Transportation, Hon Oqua Edet Oqua commended the State Governor for finding them worthy to serve in his government while also eulogising him for publicly declaring support for power rotation to the South.

He described Asuquo Ekpeyong as “the man with the right credentials, capacity and intellectual sagacity to liberate Odukpani LGA towards peace, love and unity”.

The former Nigeria Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency, Etubom Nya Asuquo said he had over the years observed that young people do better with power hence his resolved to support Asuquo Ekpenyong succeed. According to him he has performed creditably well as Commissioner of Finance, Cross River State. Responding, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong expressed gratitude to the people of Odukpani for the confidence reposed on him but stated, that the vote of confidence rather belongs to the Governor who identified him and appointed him at the young age of 30 to serve in his cabinet in a technical capacity.

Responding to the call to contest in 2023, he politely but firmly stated “That the APC was a party with a mandate to govern and as such his focus was on his assignment as commissioner and his only task remains aiding Governor Ayade to deliver on his mandate as He may continue to direct.”

He tasked Odukpani people to continue to support His Excellency, Senator Prof Ben Ayade to complete his mandate by allowing the Governor to focus on delivering good governance. He commended the organizers for starting the year right by taking time to come together to thank God and plan for the new year. He thanked the community for pooling their resources together to organize & host the event as he noted that he wasn’t even notified to contribute.

The Honorable Commissioner out of his generosity for his people, donated 2 million Naira for the Eniong Abatim Community and Odukpani Local Government Area.

The event was witnessed by APC National Youth Leader, Barr Ishmael Buba Ahmed, Leader of the Cross River State House of assembly honorable Peter Odey, DG Cross River State Electrification agency Mr Stanley Nsemo, MD Summit hills Mr Joseph Edet and other staunch party stalwart from Odukpani LGA and beyond.


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