By Victor Ogunyinka
The Akwa Ibom State government has partnered with Jenesses Mega Tech Limited for the first edition of the flagship tourism event.
While addressing the exhibitors and stakeholders at the event and the need for public-private partnership as a tool for diversification at the Tranquillity Hotel, Uyo, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok who was represented by the Director of Culture, Mr John Offiong, stated that the food and beverage fair, in a matter of time will scale up to the likes of the Malaysian Food and Beverage Fair and the Dubai Shopping Festival.
“I encourage you not to despise this small beginning, but be assured that with unity of purpose and the dakkadda spirit of Akwa Ibom people; we would surely strike gold through this partnership. There has not been a time government showed so a serious commitment to partner with the private sector than now,” he said.
Speaking at the event, the managing director of Jenesses, Prince Esema Esema, explained that being the biggest food and beverage exhibition held in the “tourist destination of Nigeria”, the event is expected to showcase “the most comprehensive and scrumptious spread of local, national and international favourites; modern healthy ethnic cuisine; traditional “must try” pastries to food trails, cook-outs and culinary workshops.
“Hundreds of exhibitors and visitors have signified interest in the event. With the readiness of the state government to support the programme, exhibitors, visitors and stakeholders can be sure of having a good outing at the end of the event,” he said.
The Deputy Whip of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Nse Essien also reiterated the support of the legislators in ensuring that the programme, would not only be a success, but also be a standard for subsequent exhibitions in the country.