From Ekefre Mfon, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Enterprise Employment Scheme (AKEES), one of the poverty alleviation and employment creation schemes of Governor Udom Emmanuel administration, is to combat joblessness through the generation of sustainable employment opportunities for 10,000 youths in the state.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Elder Uffot Ebong, made this known when he granted audience to members of the Consolidated Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council.
He explained that the scheme was designed for the implementation of the state government’s new enterprise programme to empower local business, which in turn, can employ youths, while undergoing practical enterprise skill development.
According to Ebong, the vision was to establish Akwa Ibom as a place where anyone irrespective of economic background can generate ideas and start businesses without difficulties.
The governor’s aide added that AKEES would develop youths with character, innovation and competence as well as infuse them with dignity of labour and integrity.
He said AKEES would help reduce capital flight by producing to consume, import to transform into higher value export, produce made in Akwa Ibom goods and services marketable worldwide and reduce unemployment in five years by 50 per cent.
In line with human and capital employment, Ebong disclosed that the governor’s unparalleled zeal towards industrializing the state was also manifested in the establishment of Battery Gauges and poultry brooding (where about 560,000 chicks would be brood a day) industries at Mbo and Mbiaya in Uruan Local Government areas respectively.
Ebong urged journalists in the state to always check back to get authentic facts while criticising constructively government programmes and policies.
He also emphasised the need for journalists in the state to integrate themselves and be at the forefront of promoting and sensitizing government programmes such as the benefits and multiplier effects of AKEES which would boost and reawaken the entrepreneurial spirit among youths in the state.
He enjoined journalists to always be objective, clear and balanced in their reportage.
State NUJ chairman, Comrade Amos Etuk, on behalf of the chapel eulogized the state governor for his industrialization quest that was evident in AKEES.
Etuk lauded Ebong for his competence and passion for empowering youths in diverse entrepreneurial skills development.
He reiterated the chapel’s commitment to partnering the state government in general and the Bureau of Technical Matters and Due Process in particular through sensitization of government’s policies and programmes, seminars, press releases, advertisements, among others.
Present at the occasion were the Director of Engineering in the Bureau, Macpherson Okona, Director of Administration and Supplies, Mrs. Lucy Tom, Head of Due Process, Mr. Ndifreke Akpan, Head of Planning, Research and Statistic, Mrs. Eduak Christopher Mfon, Head of Accounts Mrs. Bessie Okonna Udoh and Mr. Anietie Ekwere Head of Audit.