From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom government has said that its “Ibom 3,000 project” is meant to prepare youths with the necessary skills for employment in Hi Tech industrial concerns within and outside the state like the Ibom Deep Seaport.
Speaking to newsmen on the heels of the flag off of the training of 3,000 youths by Governor Udom Emmanuel in Uyo, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr. Ukpong Akpabio said that the scheme was deliberate and meant to identify, train, mentor, empower and build capacity of new and existing Medium and Small Enterprises, (SMEs) and Start Ups across the state.
He said the overall goal of the scheme was to train youths to be self-reliant and relevant in emerging opportunities in the upcoming Ibom Deep Seaport, the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone and other industrialisation programmes of the state government.
“Our assembling here is a call to duty and a sober reflection on the persistent demand placed on us by our people to pioneer and supervise events that will signal a new beginning of proper coordination and implementation of the vision of our governor to drive employment and investment in our society through Ibom 3,000 Project.
“The immediate and long term outcome is to lay a solid foundation for the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to compliment the efforts of the state industrialization and it’s potentials for employment generation.”
He commended the governor for his foresight and support for the programme and thanked investors and partners who have continued to stand behind the scheme meant to secure a brighter future for youths of the state.
On COVID-19 pandemic, Akpabio said the initial plan was to train 9,000 persons each year for three years even as the ministry was forced to reduce the number of beneficiaries to 3,000 each in order to accommodate COVID-19 protocols.
The commissioner said the state government would cater for the accomodation and feed the trainees during their 2-6 months duration of training while arrangements have been made for camps for the trainees depending on their area of need.