December, 10, 2022
Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, has reaffirmed that entrepreneurship will be one of his major areas of focus to reduce unemployment in the state when voted into office in 2023.
Answering questions on Channels Television flagship programme, Sunrise Daily Friday, Pastor Eno said his administration will consolidate on the industrialization drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel by boosting human capital development and entrepreneurship.
According to him, “All the programmes captured in the ARISE Agenda are targeted at reducing unemployment in the state. Be it agricultural revolution, tourism development, infrastructural development and security which is the key, educational development and economic development, all these components are targeted at the youths to create jobs.
“We have to make sure that people don’t only have the degrees, but they work in areas of their specialization. While they are in school they should learn some vocation and soft skills that will help them to become job creators themselves. These are captured in the ARISE Agenda which we have developed for the people of Akwa Ibom State.
“We need to raise the bar of human capital development, we need to train people to fit into the different sectors. Ibom Air alone is training a lot of pilots and engineers, that is human capital development. We are training some doctors and other people in different areas.
“We will create employment opportunities so that youths after school will find jobs. We are going to embrace entrepreneurship. My focus will be entrepreneurhip. With all the infrastructures we have presently, we need to support entrepreneurs, there is a limit to which government can create jobs so we really need entrepreneurship,” he said.
Harping on his plans for other sectors, the former Lands and Water Resources Commissioner pledged to boost agriculture by increasing farmers’ access to credit facilities.
“We are campaigning on the theme of connecting the dots, furthering peace and prosperity in the state. That is what we will be focusing on. There are a lot of infrastructures that have been created by this government, in health, aviation, rural development and agric sector. Our job will be to take all of these and harmonize them and let the citizenry have the dividends of democracy.
“For instance, when I was the Executive Director of Agric Investments, we created a data base of all the farmers in the State. Arising from that, we set up a Microfinance Bank because we wanted our farmers to have direct access to funding for commercial agriculture.
“A whole lot of other people have seen agriculture as business and once government supports it, people will be more engaged in it. For instance, if government keys into the oil palm industry, people will be encouraged to plant palm trees and within 18 months or maximum 24 months, they will harvest and they will be certain that there is a mill for processing.
“We will develop a value chain for this and it will take Akwa Ibom back to the glory days of oil palm production” he said.
He also promised to expand the aviation sector in the state, adding “if you check the aviation industry, you will see that the investment this government has made in that industry is huge. Our role will be to connect the dots and make Akwa Ibom people begin to reap the benefits. We will maintain the new terminal building, the MRO is there and once the 10 aircrafts ordered by Ibom Air are delivered, we will begin regional flights, the effect of that will be huge for our state.
The truth is, Akwa Ibom State is blessed and every governor keeps building on what the other has done and that is what we will continue to do.”
The governorship hopeful assured that his administration will revive the Ibom Science Park, while working for the full realisation of the Ibom Deep Seaport as well create ICT hubs.
“If you look at our blueprint, you will see that ICT is the key. There is a Science Park and I consistently say that we will resuscitate the Science Park. The present government had gone into a contract with a Chinese firm, but that was disrupted by COVID-19. The Science Park is going to come back. We know that the whole world today runs on technology, so we need to train our youths and create a platform for them to practice.
“Also, Google will be coming to Akwa Ibom State and other places like Lagos and Abuja. Once Google begins operation, we will be looking at training up to 500,000 youths on ICT and making them technologically savvy,” he added.
He also affirmed that he is the best candidate in the 2023 gubernatorial race because he has private sector experience, competence, capability and above all, compassion.