– by Paul Sylvester
As part of efforts to address some concerns of youth in Akwa Ibom State and forestall civil unrest, Gov. Udom Emmanuel has announced the commencement of the third batch of capacity building initiative, My Entrepreneurship Goal Programme (MEGP).
Gov. Emmanuel in a Statewide broadcast, Friday, October 23, 2020, in reaction to the violence that erupted in Uyo a day earlier, caused by hoodlums acting as #EndSARS protesters, announced that MEGP will resume for the third batch, to train another set of startups and young entrepreneurs on basic business skills.
“My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme (MEGP) will start next week, which is another bold and decisive step taken by Government to provide needed education and skills in entrepreneurship, so our youths may use the skills acquired to create jobs for themselves”, he said.
The Governor through the Directorate of Marketing & Brand Management (Office of the Governor) had since 2018, initiated the programme to provide a free platform for budding entrepreneurs in the State to acquire needed business education and exposed to opportunities for business support, strategic partnership, mentoring and market linkages. The programme has so far churned out two batches of beneficiaries.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Marketing & Brand Management, Mr Ime Uwah, MEGP is a typology of a business school that runs every other quarter of the year. He stated that the batch III of the programme was slated to commence by March this year, but was regrettably forestall by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the participants that will be attending the programme by next week, are those qualified after the pre-qualification interview carried out early this year.
The MEGP has exposed young Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs to avenues for business financings like grants and loans, as well as create an ecosystem of like-minded teams to share ideas and build a mutual support system, Uwah stated.
He pointed out that with key partners like Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the over two hundred young entrepreneurs in the State that have been fully trained and certified, are well equipped to grow businesses and function in many capacities relating to entrepreneurship.
The SSA further noted that the programme is an interpretation of Gov. Emmanuel’s vision to grow a productive population of young people who will hold with economic pillars of the State, this is in line with the State Government completion Agenda on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. (MSMEs)