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The A’Ibom government explains JSM’s departure and defends the new worship center

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According to the Akwa Ibom State Government, the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing, JSM, company in Onna ceased operations in the state due to the national economic crisis affecting major enterprises in Nigeria.

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Dr Essien Ndueso, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Umo Eno on Research and Documentation, blamed Nigeria’s existing business environment for the continued withdrawal of multinational corporations on Arise Akwa Ibom, a popular radio program in Uyo, over the weekend.

He stated that it would be illogical to criticize Governor Umo Eno or his predecessor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, who brought the company, due to the temporary stoppage of operations at JSM in Onna.

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Remember that JSM, which was founded in 2017 by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, declared a temporary halt of activities on January 3, 2024, citing unforeseen circumstances hampering company operations in Nigeria.

Some critics accused the governor and his predecessor, Emmanuel, for the company’s demise, which was dubbed “Africa’s largest syringe manufacturing company.”

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However, Essien stated that such criticisms were intended to score cheap political points from the unfortunate situation, noting that other multinational companies such as GSK Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest drug producer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unilever, producers of well-known brands such as OMO, Sunlight, and Lux, have also announced their intention to cease operations due to the difficult business environment.

“As we all know, Nigeria has been in a serious economic crisis since the removal of fuel subsidies.” Foreign exchange, import taxes, and interest rates are the primary reasons for company closures in Nigeria.

“According to reports, several SMEs outside Akwa Ibom State have completely shut down operations, while several big names have also scaled back operations.” According to reports in the Business Day newspaper, companies such as GSK Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest medication producer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unilever, producers of well-known brands such as OMO, Sunlight, and Lux, have also announced a halt in operations,” he added.

Concerning the international worship center in Uyo, Essien stated that there was nothing wrong with having an appropriate central place of worship in Akwa Ibom State, which is 99 percent Christian.

“Before the Worship Centre was built, Akwa Ibom people, who are devout Christians, used to gather under the sun on the grounds of Ibom Hall to praise God and engage in other religious activities.”

“For those who argue that the money used to build a fitting temple to God would have been better spent elsewhere, let me ask: do the states that haven’t built international worship centers have free and compulsory education?” Are their roads better than those in Akwa Ibom State? Do they have greater peace than Akwa Ibom State? What makes them superior to Akwa Ibom State?

“When people talk about revenue generation, have they told us how the Statue of Liberty in the United States generates revenue?”

“The same people who gather every year to find funds and visas to travel to the Middle East to worship God are now criticizing a fitting place of worship that would encourage 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?” Essien inquired.

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