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Akwa Ibom government moves to create 14,000 SMEs in 2020

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As FG spends N1.69b on state’s erosion

In a bid to actualise the industrialisation policy of the Akwa Ibom State Government, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, has set up machinery to create no fewer than 14, 000 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) this year. Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Prince Akpabio, disclosed this at the weekend during the official launch of the state’s SMEs Directory and Portal in Uyo, noting that this would be achieved by creating industry clusters in the three senatorial districts.He explained that the initiative, known as ‘Ibom 3,000’ was expected to train about 3,000 entrepreneurs from the three senatorial districts of the state in six months and up to 6,000 in one year, adding that 9,000 direct and indirect SMEs would be created from the 6,000 trained and empowered through the project.

Akpabio further explained the initiative would also involve the building of three industrial clusters in Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene with power and other business boosters around them. The clusters, he said, would be completed in 12 months each on 22 hectares of land and would remain one of the cardinal strategies of the present administration to encourage and boost the local economy.

Each of the clusters would have 48 industries over 11 sectors including mining, aluminum works, raffia works, leather works, dress making and ICT, among others.The commissioner explained that, the state government was taking advantage of current successes recorded in foreign direct investment (FDIs) adding that the state attracted about $52.4m worth of investment in the first quarter of 2018, 16 industries between 2015 and 2019 and currently have over 250 requests for FDIs.Besides, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio at the weekend inaugurated an erosion control project in Ibiaku and Nduetong Oku communities in Uruan and Uyo council area.

The project, which was initiated in 2018 due to a request to the Ecological Fund Office in the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, cost the Federal Government about N1.69b.
Akpabio commended President Muhammadu Buhari for intervening in the area, saying that the project was one of the 18 ecological intervention projects approved by the President for the first quarter of 2018. According to him, the project would stabilize the socio economic wellbeing in the communities.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Federal Government’s intervention in the erosion menace will bring a huge relief to the communities, which have for a long time been stressed by this ecological challenge,” he said. He urged Akwa Ibom people to continue to support the Federal Government even as it delivers its electioneering promises to the state and entire country. Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office in the Presidency, Dr. Habiba Lawal, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the Office, Nwachukwu Nwachukwu, said the work would help to arrest the continuous erosion and flood in the area.


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