Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has announced the donation of 250 million naira to the Ibom leadership and Entrepreneurial Development Center-Ibom LED, for the training and mobilisation of about 400 entrepreneurs in the state.
Speaking during the formal flag off of the Made in Akwa Ibom Trade Fair at Ibom-Led Headquarters, Former Ibom E-Library), IBB Avenue, Uyo, as part of activities to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the state’s creation, the Governor said he was impressed by the dexterity of the people in various trade and urged the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the trade fare to proudly exhibit their innovations and creativity.
Governor Eno explained that 50 million naira will be taken by the business school as fees paid by the state government for the registration and training of the entrepreneurial students, while 500,000 naira each will be disbursed as take off grant to the students upon their completion of the training in various fields to enable them set up their businesses.
The Governor who reiterated his commitment to ensuring the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in the state spoke of the preparedness of his administration to provide enabling environment for businesses to thrive, noting that it was in fulfillment of his campaign promise to create and support entrepreneurs to succeed.
He said , “While budgeting for the anniversary, I had cut down two hundred and fifty million. I am now donating the two hundred and fifty million to the Ibom LED. And this is how it will be shared.
From the money that I saved from that budget, I am donating it to you for everyone that has registered so far. Put it at four hundred people.
“To each and everyone of them you will share, fifty million is for the school so that it can serve as their training fees. So let it be that I have paid for that. As you graduate them, if the job is for those who did not have NAFDAC Number, make sure you help them have it.
“Look at their products and let those products look good. Train them and then help them look for market too. As you finish training them, each of them shall have five hundred thousand naira.
He emphasised that his determination to encourage them was borne out of his desire to create employment in diverse ways for the people, knowing that aside government jobs or political appointments, the people can be gainfully employed through their skills.
The Governor explained that his decision to convert the Ibom E-Library to accommodate the Entrepreneurial And Leadership School was due to the fact that the facility was abandoned, stressing that it was better to have a Business School in the State than pay huge sums to train Akwa Ibom people elsewhere.
He however noted that a section of the facility will still be maintained to serve the purpose for which the e-library was established by former Governor Godswill Akpabio.
“I am here to draw the attention of the Akwa Ibom people to this facility. This facility was built by one of our illustrious sons who was the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Obot Akpabio.
“We can combine. This facility stands side by side by any international business school in the world, and so we decided to put this facility together. Let me thank our brother, Pastor ImoAbasi Jacob. Let me thank the DG of the Ibom LED, Mrs. Ekaette Umo, let me also thank the Senior Special Assistant on Entrepreneurial Development, Mr. Ime Uwah for transforming this place and putting our vision together.
“That we transform and restructure this place which was a former E- library and attach it to something else which our children who desire to learn trade can come here, register and learn. We would not be able to pay transport for our children to go to business school in Lagos and abroad, but we can pay school fees for our children to come to Akwa Ibom business School”, he stated .
Governor Eno therefore expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Trade and Investment and the Ibom-LED crew led by the Director General, Mrs Ekaette Umoh and his Senior Special Assistant on Entrepreneurial Development, Mr Ime Uwah, for organising the exhibition within a short notice and for the accurate interpretation of his vision of the Entrepreneurial Center, stressing that he was impressed with their efforts and achievements.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Economic Development, Emem Bob, commended the Governor for keeping to his promise of ensuring the growth of businesses in the State and for rekindling the trade fair initiative.
Bob, who stated that the compilation of Data base of all the SMEs in the state as directed by the Governor will be extended to allow for the registration of more businesses therefore urged the people to key into the entrepreneurial programmes of the government to enable them benefit from it.
On his part, Team Leader of the Ibom LED crew and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centre, Pastor Imo Abasi Jacob, said the Governor’s action is a clear demonstration of his understanding that entrepreneurship is the bedrock of economic development.
He pledged to ensure that the vision of the governor in the training and setting up of the people is adequately realized.