Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has announced plans to launch the Made-in-Akwa Ibom Trade Fair to compliment activities of the State’s 36th anniversary .
Governor Eno announced this when he embarked on an assessment of the E- library facilities currently under renovation for the take off of the proposed Entrepreneurial And Leadership School to be established within the complex.
Elaborating on the vision, the governor said the Trade Fair will be innovative as it will present opportunities for fashion designers and shoe manufacturers to display their creative designs in clothes and shoes, while entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to sample their products and market their skills.
He called on Akwa Ibomites who are entrepreneurs to take advantage of the trade fair and showcase their businesses for patronage.
“Again, the Made-in-Akwa Ibom Trade Fare that we want to use as a signature to our 36th anniversary will be done here. I just spoke with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Investment .
“We will build the business Community around this facility. That is the whole concept before we now think of moving them to the industrial estate incubation.
“Let’s show a prototype here. I love prototypes. Let’s start from somewhere, when you have issues with the prototype you can correct it before you go and invest so much money elsewhere.
“I think this afternoon I am happy. I would love to thank you for taking the vision, understanding the vision and running with the vision. That is what I think our youths should arise to. They must rise up to the fact that people will identify with you when you show what you want to do.
“Now let me talk about the Trade Fair. On the 23rd, we will open Made-in-Akwa Ibom Trade Fare using this facility. I want to exhibit what we have done in our state, fashion, shoes, not much of Agriculture because you can go and buy things from anywhere and say it is from your local Governments.
“We want to see entrepreneurs come out. If you are an entrepreneur in Akwa Ibom and want to be counted, this fair is for you. That’s where we are going to draw a pool of people that are truly small and medium scale business entrepreneurs and we will then begin to work with them.”
On the proposed Business School, Governor Eno expressed his appreciation to the team comprising Mr Imo-Abasi Jacob, Ekaette Umo and his Senior Special Assistant on Entrepreneurial Development, Mr Ime Uwah, for their interpretation of his vision of the Entrepreneurial Center, stressing that he was impressed with the level of the renovation even without his financial support and pledged to support them for the realization of the vision.
The Governor explained that the support was necessary given the team’s commitment to the realization of the center without monetary assistance from him, noting that the action has proven that they are business minded people and it behoves on him to compliment their commitments to the project.
“I came here on an on the spot assessment. The management team, Ibom leadership told me they have started renovation, they have done set apart. I did not believe them because we have not advanced them any money. So it’s like, how did you get the money and he said we are business people sir. We want to support your vision. So I decided to come.
“We have been around together. You were here the day we came on a first visit, you saw the state of the facility. But today, you have seen that it can work.
“Most leadership schools in this country don’t have the facility that is here.
“I am practically very impressed about what I have seen and I would like to thank the leadership, Imo-Abasi Jacob, the team leader, Madam Ekaette Umo, the Senior Special Assistant on Entrepreneurial Development for doing a fantastic work.
“For me, I am moved. This has shown that they have a business mindset.
“Some other people will tell you we don’t have the money, we are waiting for approval and so on. But they took a risk. Life is about risk and that is the story we want to tell here. Money is the last thing.
“They took the risk. I don’t know how they raised the money and this is on ground. It won’t be totally out of place for anyone to get here today and now don’t say you are good to go, how much did you spend?
“You must do something that makes people want to associate with you. I am totally impressed. We had a good discussion and we will start the fashion hub here. We will start the shoe hub here and we have just discussed on that.
“No matter how small, since this is going to be a business environment, we will start it here so that they start sewing uniforms, making shoes for our young children in the primary schools.”
He assured that the government will build a business Community around the E-library facility as a prototype prior to their relocation to the industrial park.