Despite dwindling resources due to the prevailing economic recession in our country, Akwa Ibom State Government remains focused on delivering qualitative governance in all sectors of the economy in line with the five-point agenda of the current administration: Job Creation Poverty Alleviation Wealth Creation Economic and Political Inclusion Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion

In just about two and a half years in office, the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has implemented several people-oriented socio-economic programmes and projects which have catapulted Akwa Ibom State into the premier league of states in Nigeria.

Building on the foundation laid by his predecessors, Governor Emmanuel is leading the state on the path of economic prosperity anchored on sustainable development. The cardinal objective is to transform the state into an industrial hub, a preferred destination for tourism and a major food basket. The success level so far recorded was accentuated in a recent report of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics that listed Akwa Ibom as the 2nd best Foreign Direct Investment destination in the country for the year 2016.

Today, there are several visible footprints of industrialisation across the length and breadth of the state. In addition to the resuscitation of the Peacock Paint Industry and establishment of the Pencil & Toothpick Factories, two major factories; Electric Metering and Syringe Factories, with a production capacity of 400 million syringes per annum, expandable to 1 billion syringes, were commissioned by the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during the 30th anniversary celebration of the state.

It is noteworthy to add that the State Governor recently flagged off the construction of a Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery while ensuring the sustainable operations of the Akwa Prime Hatchery.

To underscore its commitment to providing an enabling environment that fast-tracks its industrialization agenda, the present administration has so far constructed over 700km of roads connecting the economic nerve centres of the state and invested heavily in the power sector.

Syringe Factory
Africa’s Largest Syringe factory located in Akwa Ibom is set to reverse the over $30 billion used for importation of same product yearly within the SADC region of southern Africa. The syringe factory in Akwa Ibom state was conceived and located as a result of a critical research followed by a technical report to provide one of the most satiated medical consumable products to the African market and beyond. More than 6 countries in the west coast of Africa with Nigeria leading are importing in excess of 29.7% the import value of South African Democratic Congress yearly budget for same product.

The building of Africa’s Largest Syringe factory is a direct response to the yearning for medical products. Going by the initial production capacity of 400 million to 1 billion syringes, this highly simulated factory will, within the next five years, feed the African populace and the global market at large.

The Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company (JSM) in Akwa Ibom was conceived to provide one of the most satiated medical consumable products to the African market. The value chain of this manufacturing concern is beyond measure as it will not only help to create jobs, but also help to stabilize the nation’s economy.

Pencil Factory
From the cradle to adulthood and throughout existence, one instrument humanity can hardly avoid is the pencil. From kindergarten to Professorial desks and from the creative arts studios to the fashion designer, the pencil remains the last tool standing. It is as important in the hands of a teacher as it is important in the abattoir slab of the market woman.

While Nigeria as a country is in the boardroom trying to forge a workable model that will see to the realization of pencil production in 2019, the Akwa Ibom State government moved on to establish a toothpick and pencil Factory located in Etinan.

The initial workforce approximately 2,000 is positioned to double, as distributors of the product from the neighbouring African countries are placing a huge demand on the production capacity of the factory. One commendable attribute of the toothpick factory is the fact that all materials are sourced from the state.

The State Government has a deliberate plan to extricate Nigeria from the scourging heat of recession, ensuring that most of Nigeria’s academic essentials are internally produced to reduce further dependence on foreign economies.

Information available from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that our children in the primary to secondary school age comprise 36% of the nation’s total population which is estimated at 62.9 million. With a production capacity of about a hundred million units daily, the country will save a sizable portion of her foreign exchange that hitherto was used for importation of pencils, hence the need for expansion.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom state decided to process this natural gifting of our people into a finished package to enrich our artisans who provide raw materials from the source and deploy recycled paper technology for the production of pencils. It is on record that China produces pencils and toothpicks used all over the African continent and Nigeria in particular but it is also worthy of note that AKEES Pencil products are of the same high quality as that of the Chinese.

The unparalleled importance of pencils is not only as a learning aid but a dependable ally in record keeping and etching notes for history. It is obvious that the Akwa Ibom state economic blueprint is designed to proffer target specific solutions to address the scourge confronting the African Continent and the world at large.

Toothpick Factory
Gov. Udom Emmanuel is working hard to see that Nigeria and other African countries stop the importation of basic products such as toothpick and pencils from China. The Toothpick factory which is located along kilometer 1 Uyo- Etinan road has been completed and has premium target of 1 (one) billion naira yearly as well as create 10,000 (Ten Thousand) jobs off factory workers for all Akwa Ibom people.

Malaysia is acknowledged one of the strong Asian nations today as a result of our Bamboo and kernel seedlings trade engagement that took place in Akwa Ibom state 50 years ago.

Peacock Paint Industry
The paint factory in Akwa Ibom state resuscitated by Gov. Udom Emmanuel has created employment opportunities and quality value addition to the paint industry. Today, peacock paint is acknowledged as the market leader, providing home and corporate aesthetics solutions to the country and beyond.

Research institutes and colleges of technology with bias in chemical sciences now have a well-equipped purpose built state of the all facility to address their academic needs. Estates developers are getting value for their monies while appreciating the extraordinary gait of their structures in the market place.

…to be continued

Umohobong Kingsley writes in from Uyo

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