by Paul Sylvester
In line with his plan to grow Akwa Ibom State on small and medium scale businesses, Governor Udom Emmanuel, through the Directorate of Microfinance and Enterprise Development, has facilitated the exclusive business advisory and training of willing young Akwa Ibom start-ups via a periodic human resource training, tagged, ‘My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme’ (MEGP).
Speaking in Uyo at the graduation ceremony for the first batch of MEGP trainees, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Microfinance and Enterprise Development, Mr Ime Uwah, relayed the governor’s readiness to attract direct start-up funding to young entrepreneurs in the state. While speaking, Uwah who described the event as a “turning point in the history of entrepreneurship development in Akwa Ibom State”, noted that MEGP was initiated to “identify, develop and create a sustainable micro, small and medium enterprises in the state.”
Speaking further, the SSA commented on the experience with the first class of beneficiaries of MEGP, adjudging them as fitting drivers of the state’s economy at the level of SME and subsequent contributors to the GDP of the state.
The MEGP grandaunts had for three months underwent rigorous training and orientation on targeted area of business, relevant to enterprise development in the 21st Century.
“They were taken through series of qualified resource persons who in three months, have taken these entrepreneurs through carefully selected curriculum of study designed to develop their businesses through value addition and mentorship, with prospect to attract seed capital funding and also benefit from information sharing”, he said.
The Directorate of Microfinance and Enterprise Development, has through the headship of the SSA, Ime Uwah, achieved commendable feats in areas including identification and recruitment of over 18,000 Dakkada ambassadors, hunt and discovery of enterprising Akwa Ibomites through the Dakkada entrepreneurship and business campaign which birthed the Dakkada Business Forum, formation of Dakkada Multipurpose Cooperative Societies across all LGAs.
Giving his remarks at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Youth Matters, Comr. Aniefiok Iwaudofia, made a case for youth mentorship in business, a need he noted was lacking in our society, while congratulating the grandaunts and pledging due support to the vision.
Also speaking was the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, Mr Ekanem Brown. He encouraged the first batch of grandaunts to remain on the path of their positive mission and not be deterred.
High point of the event was the presentation of certificates to participants, all 65, of the Batch 1 of MEGP, who successfully completed a three month course on business development. As earlier pointed by Mr Ime Uwah, the programme is continuous and shall accommodate as much interested start-ups as possible and the inauguration of MPEG alumni network led by Abasidiong Samuel as president.
Present at the graduation were the management and staff of the Metering Solutions, led by Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, SA to governor on Marketing and Brand Management, Mrs Josephine Bassey, who also represented the SSA (Marketing & Brand Management) Mr Sam Edoho and Mr Ben Udowa, CEO, Madelyn Group amongst others.