Emmanuel Nicholas

………………The Governor of Akwa Ibom State during his campaigns had pledged to the people of Akwa Ibom numerous plans that will change their living Standard. As just leader who was not lying to gain votes from the electorate, and later deny his promises, Governor Udom Emmanuel is fulfilling his the ones he made.
Governor Udom Emmanuel’s campaign was anchored on industrialization. He said in Uyo, during the campaign kick-off ‘’ We will build Industries in all nook and crannies of the State , and the ailing industries will be revived. Ibom Deep Sea Port will be the flagship of the industrialization process ’’

The government of Akwa Ibom State under Mr Udom Emmanuel’s administration had performed ground breaking for Automobile plant, LED factory, Metering Factory, acquired Land for coconut Refinery, Ground breaking for the fertilizer Plant , site clearing for 100,000 barrel a day Refinery .
On the revival of the ailing industries, Governor Udom Emmanuel has resuscitated the hitherto distressed Peacock Paint and added another line of production, the marine Paints. Plasto Crown was another moribund industry in Akwa Ibom State , but in less than six month, it is back in full stream. This was brought to fruition by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Government.
Resently the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration has import and install a machines for the production of Tooth Pick and Pencil using the abundant raw material , the Bamboo . the availability of this tree can be seen all over the State .so many circles in the State seen this as a venture not worthy of government investment but intent look at it shows it has capacity of adding value to State economy and country it will be the second in Nigeria after the one recently commissioned in Ondo State .

Governor Udom Emmanuel knows that When one wants to select the best small and medium scale project to invest into, two major important considerations to make apart from location and nearness to market are one; the projected daily turnover and two; acceptability of the products(s) in the market. In Nigeria we have all the basic raw materials and technology to produce and package quality toothpicks and Pencil which investors are yet to harness.

Experience has shown that any product that is consumed by many and on regular basis always assures profitable investment. Market survey has shown that toothpick and Pencil are in high demand and always record very high consumption rate and of course high turnover.

The market for toothpicks and Pencil exists and also expanding. The market is sustainable and above all the relevant raw material inputs are 100% locally available and handy in Akwa Ibom State .

In a country as Nigeria where there is lack of employment, one can establish the project as cottage industry to accommodate the unemployed masses , Let’s look at some important issues that place the project as one versatile to invest into.

The daily uses of toothpicks in homes, hotels, and various institutions are well known virtually everybody uses toothpicks on daily basis to remove unwanted food leftovers that stick to the teeth. Toothpicks when well produced and packaged can be sold locally to satisfy the needs of the market or can be exported to earn foreign exchange because of its high export potential. And Pencil is used by both pupil in the elementary schools , student in secondary and Universities not excluding the drawing artists

From our market survey, there are very few plants producing toothpicks in the country currently and the number is still and the number inadequate to produce for a growing population of about 160million people. Therefore more local producing plants are needed in the country.

The raw materials for making them are either hard wood or bamboo, light round plastic containers, to which the company’s logo printed on paper can be glued or preprinted small light paper cartons are used to package the finished product.
The whole of these inputs are sourced locally which is one big advantage this project has assurance of regular supply of the raw materials, steady production and profitability.

The machines and equipment required for the project are international and locally available. They include round cross-cutting machine, slicing machine, slitting machine; stick making machine, skewer sizing machine, polishing machine, sharpening machine and packaging/arranging machines and dust collector.
To implement this project, a minimum of 12 people are required to ensure a smooth take-off. Though the project could be located in any part of the country, however the promoters are advised to ensure that the project is cited where bamboo or hard wood can easily be obtained at least cost. This will help reduce the cost of transporting the raw materials.
The Akwa Ibom State Government through the office of Senior Special Asistant on Due Process and Technical matters , Elder Ufot Ebong had conduct a comprehensive feasibility studies to act not only as a guide for professional implementation and monitoring of the project but also as a handy requirement to facilitate fund attraction from co-promoters or finance organizations; in-stall the plant and machinery and buy the start-off raw materials. The importance of good quality products, attractive packaging; proper management structure and of keeping proper and timely records of the projects operations cannot be over emphasized.

Many may ask why is the State not setting up the factory through Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment? Is Governor Udom wish to encourage SMEs by initiating policies and programmes targeted at engendering the development of the non-oil sectors where SMEs are dominant players. The focus of governance in Akwa Ibom State principally has been on industrialization and job creation. This made it absolutely necessary to establish a programme that will engage the skills, ideas, capacities and productive endeavours of Akwa Ibom people towards inspiring an industrial revolution from down up. This why Akwa Ibom State through AKYEES is establishing the tooth pick factory.

“Recently, Nigeria has been battling with a dwindling economy which over the years thrived on crude oil as a mono- product. The fall in the price of crude oil in the international market has taken negative toll on the economy of many states including ours.
“The new wave of challenge, therefore, is for states in Nigeria and particularly leaders, who hold the people’s mandate in trust, to arise and evolve alternative ways of achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity as well as guaranteeing survival for its teeming populace.

Governor Udom Emmanuel during his declaration told the people that he will develop more manpower for his industrialization bid. Hear him ‘’The development of manpower is another aspect that we will not allow to crash on stones of the lame hands, as we will empower our people with knowledge that will salvage the State from lack of skilled manpower during the coming explosion of industries in the State. My government will sponsor Akwa Ibom youth to acquire knowledge and skills from both home and abroad, thereby relegating the importation of skilled manpower to zero percent. The women of Akwa Ibom State have shown to greater percentage, that they are ready for improved representation in governance and to contribute immensely to the economic advancement of our dear State ‘’

The Governor , asserted that, the aims and objectives of the programme is ,Job Creation through Enterprise Development programme and Practical Hands-on Training, The scheme is designed for the implementation of the state Government new Enterprise Development Program,” it is aimed at generating more sustainable employment opportunities for unemployed youths through empowering local businesses that can employ our youths to earn a wage while undergoing practical enterprise skills development and hands-on training from growing businesses in Akwa Ibom -( LEARNING BY DOING AND EARNING WHILE LEARNING)”
The vision is to establish Akwa Ibom as an enabling state, where anyone regardless of their economic background can generate an idea, start and grow their business as easily as possible.”

The project outlined also includes; creating the enabling structures needed to easily setup and grow business- more growing businesses; more job opportunities. – foster a domestic ecosystem to reduce capital flight through importation and exportation of unoptimized product- produce to consume, import to transform into higher value exports. – support and grow businesses and products that have high export potential through franchising and online trading platforms- made in Akwa Ibom, sold worldwide. -Aims to provide strategic solutions and reduce youths unemployment by 50% in 4-5years : by developing youths entrepreneurs through a set of franchise schemes providing world-class vocational skills training and high quality technical education to Akwa Ibom youths as may be necessary.

So the tooth Pick and Pencil factory along kilometer 1 Uyo –Etinan Road is undergoing test running and is capable of making over one billion naira yearly , and creating over ten thousand jobs off the factory workers .

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