Akwa Ibom to commission first pencil factory in Nigeria
The factory which has been producing tooth pick, is a wholly-owned Akwa Ibom State government company amd was floated in 2015 under the Akwa Ibom Enterprises and Employment Scheme (AKEES), an initiative aimed at re-awakening the spirit of enterprise among youths and position them to benefit from the industrialisation programme of the state government.
The Administrative and Utility Manager of the factory, Miss. Nsisiong Umoh said that though the factory is currently on a test run with a staff strength of over 60, all drawn from AKEES database, it has been producing for two months now.
According to her, the factory produces about 4000/5000 pencils daily, 25000 weekly and 100,000 per month currently.She said the firm’s production capacity will increase drastically when the factory is commissioned later in the year.
Umoh added that government’s plan is to also build pen, matches and sagged bag factories within the premises, thereby creating more employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.
She said although the factory is yet to start selling its products, so many companies have already indicated interest to act as their marketers/distributors.
While commending Governor Udom Emmanuel for making her and thousands of Akwa Ibom youths self-dependent, she said that she is optimistic that in few years from now, the State will be a major exporter of many products.
The Coordinator of AKEES, Elder Ufot Ebong who also is the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Mattes and Due Process noted that the pencil and tooth pick factory has received orders from the Sokoto State government to supply 1444,000 pencils every three months.
It could be recalled that the Federal government had set 2020 as the date for the production of pencils instead of importing same, but Akwa Ibom State through AKEES, has taken the bold step to beat that date by producing pencils and crayons earlier than the set date.