The Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has directed all members of his cabinet to always use locally made products in the execution of government projects in the state unless the products needed were not manufactured locally.
State Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Barr Prince Akpabio who made this known weekend at the official launch of the state SME Directory and Portal in Uyo noted that such was to encourage utilization of local raw materials.
He said the ministry would on its part organize an SME Expo, SME Business Clinic, One Local Government One Product project and a campaign aimed at encouraging people to patronize Made in Akwa Ibom products.
According to him, “The governor has placed a ban on the use of non-Akwa Ibom raw materials for the execution of government projects in the area unless such materials could not be sourced locally. Such was to encourage utilization of local raw materials.
“The only exception is when the material needed for such a project cannot be found in Akwa Ibom. The Governor is so committed to this that he has encouraged members of the state executive council to always wear dresses made in Akwa Ibom. Even the paints must be made in Akwa Ibom paints.”
Akpabio also disclosed that Akwa Ibom government has initiated moves aimed at creating at least 14,000 small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
He explained that the initiative, known as “Ibom 3,000” is expected to train 3,000 prospective entrepreneurs from the three Senatorial districts of the state in six months accruing to 6,000 in one year. Additional 9,000 direct and indirect SMEs are expected to be created from the 6,000 trained and empowered by the project.
The initiative he further explained would also involve the building of three industrial clusters in Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene with power and other business boosters in place.
The clusters according to him would be completed in 12 months each on a 22 hectares of land and would remain one of the cardinal strategies of the present administration to encourage and boost the local economy.
He said that the setting up of the directory and Portal initiative was to move Small and Medium Enterprises in the state from active to viable ones.
“We seek to build a strong and economically viable SMEs to complement efforts of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s industrialisation agenda,” he added.