The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Technical Matters and Due Process, Elder Ufot Ebong, has reiterated the commitment of Governor to industrialise Akwa Ibom State in view of getting young people off the street and into profitable ventures.
While interacting with journalists at his residence, yesterday in Uyo, Ebong said that AKEES was strategically structured to survive beyond politics and commended Governor Emmanuel on his foresight in establishing the scheme which he said has created over 6,000 jobs across the value chain.
Speaking further, Ebong who doubles as the Coordinator, Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme (AKEES) explained that the three years old scheme is running free from undue interferences from government, adding that Governor Emmanuel is passionate in seeing industries owned and managed by capable private individuals and shareholders who are Akwa Ibom indigenes.
Ebong further stated that the Scheme is structured in a way that all the affiliates pay back the setup money used in setting up the businesses into government account with Treasury receipts as proof, stressing that no Government official will be allowed to buy shares into the established businesses when privatized.
He expressed satisfaction over the level of work at the cottage industries, saying that it will his joy to see the present workers in the industries working in bigger industries after receiving training from AKEES with practical knowledge and experiences.
On the number of persons employed by the Scheme, Elder Ebong revealed that about six thousand (6,000) persons have been employed through the various models of the scheme across value chain.
He insisted that AKEES has helped many people to generate productive ideas and rise to their greatness, revealing that many people inspired by the Scheme are coming up with ideas for businesses.
During an Inspection tour to one of AKEES commercial farms at Okobo, the farm consultant, Mr. Brezhnev Langwa, said that the scheme is geared towards making individuals become successful entrepreneurs.
Langwa stated that out of the 100 hectares of land cleared, and with a staff strength of 40 persons directly employed, 8 hectares of land have been cultivated with tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, garden eggs and watermelon planted in that particular farm, while plans are in top gear to start expanding to Airport covering about 30 hectares.
He intimated that AKEES has been able to train people in Agricultural techniques, noting that about six persons under the scheme are doing well in different areas of the State.