Governor Udom Emmanuel has stated that training of Akwa Ibom youths in various technical skills to fit in to his industrial revolution plan, remains a priority of his administration.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Dried Bamboo to Tissue Paper Production Factory, Saturday, Mr Emmanuel, flanked by his wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel, deputy Moses Ekpo, announced that 33 indigenes of the state have so far been trained to operate the tissue factory located at Dakkada Cottage Industries Ekid Itam, Itu Local Government Area.
He said 20 persons will be sponsored early next year for training in engineering studies at Israel to man the Vehicle Assembly Plant which will be commissioned next year.
He said the 20 to be trained on the Motor Assembly Plant will contribute towards the locally made vehicles in the country.
“We try to make sure that we train a lot of our youths, a lot of our indigenes to be able to take care of our new industries.
“We have trained about 33 indigenes of the state who adapted easily to the technology immediately and it will make this factory easily maintained by our own indigenes.
“I want to reassure the people of Itu that we need to send 20 people to Israel immediately for training, minimum of 10% persons will be from Itu because the company is sited in Itu Local Government Area.
“The Israeli Ambassador is working seriously to give us visas for them to go for the training so that when they come back those 20 engineers will be the ones to run the Vehicle Assembly Plant, I am sure we should be able to commission that next year.
” If you visit the Motor Assembly Plant, work is ongoing. We got some delays because of COVID our target is that as the federal government will be launching out the new scheme of locally assemble vehicles, Akwa Ibom state should be able to supply a whole into the Nigerian market especially for those luxury buses”.
The Governor explained that the Dakkada Cottage factories with limited employment needs of the people will create direct and indirect economic impact to drive the economy.
He appealed to Akwa Ibom people to be involved in the supply of raw materials which is mainly Bamboo used in the production of tissue and the toothpicks, where they will make a lot of profit.
The state chief executive also assured that his administration is working tirelessly to resuscitate moribund factories in the state.
“I can assure you that like the Quality Ceramics we are working seriously to see how we can bring it back to life.
“We are at the last stage now, once we fire and it responds by the second quarter of next year we should be able to reactivate that factory and bring it back to life”.
Emmanuel commended the host community, of the Tissue Factory at Ekid Itam for their cooperation and solicited for a sustained community relations of peace so as to make the factory succeed.
“Let me appreciate the host community for their cooperation so far, I just want to believe they will continue to cooperate with us as we do a lot more”.
In his remarks the Commissioner forTrade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, thanked God for keeping the state through the recession with the state achieving most of its projects.
Prince Akpabio, lauded the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel for initiating the tissue paper production factory which he affirmed remains very significant to the people of Itu, stating that with the capacity to produce 5 tons of tissue daily from Bamboo and about 2000 tons annually, the prospect the factory holds will stimulate the economy in the area.
In a goodwill message, the member representing Itu State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Kufre Edidem, thanked Governor Emmanuel for siting the factory in Itu noting that it will provide more than 25 direct jobs and more than 2000 indirect jobs, adding that it will take the youths off the streets and provide them with a means of livelihood.
Similarly, the paramount ruler of Itu, Edidem Dr. Edet Akpainyang, expressed joy to the governor for making history through the siting of the tissue paper factory, describing it as compensation to the people of Itu who earlier lost the Oku Iboku which hitherto engaged the people in the area.
Hello no prayed God for diligence to the governor to succeed in his vision for the state.
The four factories are operated under the supervision of the General Manager of the Dakkada Cottage Industries, Tedy Thomson.
The Plastic factory which has a daily production capacity of 2 tons presently on test run, will soon be increased to a daily production capacity of 5 tons of plastics with the arrival of more moulds and other facilities.
As confirmed by Governor Emmanuel, the Dakkada Cottage Industries have the capacity for expansion to provide direct and indirect employments for several youths of the State.