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The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel in Akwa Ibom State records unprecedented accomplishments across all sectors of the economy. Mr. Udom Emmanuel - AKWA IBOM EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE SCHEME(AKEES).

AKWA IBOM EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE SCHEME(AKEES).

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08 Dec

AKWA IBOM EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE SCHEME(AKEES).

AKWA IBOM EMPLOYMENT AND ENTERPRISE SCHEME(AKEES)

BACKGROUND
The focus of governance in Akwa Ibom State principally has been on industrialization and job creation. This made it absolutely necessary to establish a programme that will engage the skills, ideas, capacities and productive endeavours of Akwa Ibom people towards inspiring an industrial revolution from down up.

AKEES has sought to get young people off the streets and into work through trainings, partnerships, franchise schemes, internships and specially designed enterprise development schemes.

Guided by the objective to reduce youth unemployment by 50% by 2020, through the development of youth entrepreneurs, AKEES has begun to impact whole industries in the sub-region in just one year. Over 1500 have been employed; over 85 businesses have been either created or reinforced.

METHODOLOGY

4 ENTERPRISE ACTIVATION MODELS OF AKEES
- Micro-Franchising: This model allows beneficiaries of the AKEES programme to own their individual businesses through small scale partnerships and business-based authorization.
- Enterprise Programmes: Here, individuals are enabled and supported to start their businesses in order to meet specific needs in the marketplace. It allows for start-ups in other parts of the country to consider doing business with the ones domiciled in Akwa Ibom State.
- Job Programmes: The question of unemployment depends largely on the employability of the jobless. This is why AKEES has a programme designed to equip youths with requisite skill-sets for diverse industries.
- Common facility & Equipment Centres: Having studied prototypes functional in emerging economies of the world, this model was developed to encourage the formation of industry clusters all over the state. Merits are that individual entrepreneurs that belong to the same industries can utilize the same facilities and apparatuses for their different production operations.

SUCCESS STORIES INDUSTRY BY INDUSTRY. 
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the enterprises partnering with and/or benefiting from AKEES.
 
MEDIA 
Beginning with a team of 6 dynamic members
NEWSLITE-have provided summarized news to readers over the internet, residing within Nigeria and those overseas for over 10 months. They have visitors from over 20 countries of the world using their services, daily.

CRYSTAL MEDIA SERVICES is a group of innovative young entrepreneurs who integrate web design, infographics, video editing, podcast, bulk SMS, automated voice prompts and online marketing to provide enterprise consultancy solutions.

COURTESY AFRICA TV provide communications, publicity and advertisement services and also event promotions and feature interviews.

PREMIUM HERALD is a media company that provides online news services, web design, digital marketing and brand consulting.

ONUK INTERACTIVE design brand items for businesses, websites, advertisement and PR campaigns. A key mark of Onukinteractive designs is seen in the broad diversity of business brand art they have produced; the ability to create a brand design that interprets the uniqueness of each client.

FOCUSVILLE employ creative approach to capturing events for memories. Using up to date photography equipment, they constitute among the best media recording business units in the State.

ORBIT STUDIO is a media start-up that shoots short films, movies, documentary, TV series, photography, with the vision to make world-class cinematography affordable.

FASHION
Undoubtedly, one of the most outstanding success stories of AKEES is SUNICK CLOTHING. A partner with AKEES, Sunick also hosts a fashion Common Facility Centre (CFC) for the scheme. Over 300 tailors have signed up since set up to use the Sunick CFC. On their part, Sunick have been immensely imparted by the partnership, as they have had access to equipment to enhance their production to volumes and quality that have allowed them to sign mega deals to produce jerseys to academic institutions, football clubs (E.g. Akwa Starlet, Akwa United FC, Ibom Angels, Cofine FC), and other uniform agencies. The manager of Sunick, Mr. Nicodemus Ibanga was nominated for an award as an emerging young entrepreneur in the Niger Delta sub-region.

ALWAYS FRESH came up with trendy urban clothing with a focus on what they call streetwear, which are casual graphic t-shirts, hoodies, casual sportswear and more. They also produce fashion with options of customization and personalization for specific individual events.

DACHE PEARLS is one of the fastest growing and creative jewelry brand in Nigeria, offering beaded jewelry and Gele tying and training.
 
AGRICULTURE
A major achievement of AKEES has been in the Agriculture sector, a model was developed to help individuals with different interests in Agriculture and different assets, forge partnerships and achieve common objectives.
Land owners partner with technology owners, and seeds are provided by yet another party, over one hundred people have provided lands for the cultivation of tomato  in partnership with AKEES

BOLLAND FARMS helps franchise farmers to cultivate, process and sell their produce to buyers at value added standards. With over 100 people recruited, and over 50 franchise tomato farms in 2 senatorial districts incubated by Bolland farms, this is truly a success story.

ENI FARMS was one of the first farms, after Bolland, that presented their farmland for a demonstration of the AKEES tomato and other fast yielding cash vegetables production scheme. Incidentally, this initiative preceded the famed plague of the Tuta Absoluta virus attack on tomato crops that skyrocketed the cost of tomatoes all over the country.

CROPEX provides a broad variety of traditional agricultural produce. They work with local farmers and agro-business vendors to ensure availability of fresh farm produce for their subscribers.

FINANCE & LEGAL SOLUTIONS
CASHLOG headline the achievements of AKEES in this sector. They specialize in helping Small and Medium Enterprises to keep record of their financial transactions, to measure the progress of their businesses, cut cost, track cash flow and so on,in order to maintain up-to-date records and improve accuracy and dependability on their business accounts. Starting with 8 staff, they now have franchisees in at least 4 other major towns of the state, and one in Cross River State.

CASHTRACK Analysis is another bookkeeping and accounting business reinforced by AKEES. They provide reports to aid financial management in businesses and help investors to determine the growth of a particular business of interest.

KWO is a micro-savings platform that allows small businesses and individuals to save any amount of money daily in order to meet targets in their financial lives. They go to clients and help handle their cash for each day.

LAWJIK LEGAL SOLUTIONS bring legal services a lot closer to businesses. They help businesses overcome their fears of dealing with the all-too-necessary but seemingly elitist services of business legal counsel.

COMMUNICATIONS
PEAR AD offers pocket-friendly, targeted and far-reaching advertisement and marketing solutions to business and organizations. This company is built on the foundation of quality service delivery, attention to details and customer satisfaction.
 
AKEES prioritizes a regular review of the entire scheme, assessing its programmes, projects, partners and beneficiaries, in a principle that advocates not only transparency, but also continuity and consistency of quality. 

 Akwa Ibom people appreciate the matchless value addition of the AKEES initiative to the evolution of Akwa Ibom State from a huge community of financial dependents to a frontline big business hub in the West African region, by the Udom Emmanuel led administration.
 
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AKEES- A  PURPOSE VEHICLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP 

When it first debuted some 15 months ago, many considered it a political rhetoric but the sincerity that underlined it as a policy was noticeable in the passion exemplified by the midwife, His Excellency,  Mr Udom Emmanuel,  governor of Akwa Ibom State and the commitment of the facilitators who spared no efforts in re -engineering economic models that are suitable to our clime. Today Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme,  AKEES is raring to take the place of being the flagship policy of the Udom administration.  Thanks to the power of vision for which the governor is already being associated. 

When the Udom administration came to being, it articulated the focus of his governance to be industrialization  and ofcourse with its sine qua non being job creation. Any government that seeks to achieve job  and wealth creation at a period of global economic volatility like now must be creative and familiar with inventive models. That is  part of the role AKEES has come to fill in our economic spectrum. AKEES as  a policy is designed to engage the skills, ideas, capacities and productive endeavours of Akwa Ibom people as strategic prelude to the industrial revolution that the State is set to embrace. The approach includes trainings, partnerships, franchise schemes, internships,  specially designed development schemes and capacity buildings. 

 AKEES  as a policy has set objectives and milestones.  One of such is the reduction of youth unemployment by 50% come 2020. It is an indubitable fact that unemployment across the youth bracket has constituted a serious social anomie. Vices like violent crimes , drug abuse , rape, militancy, political thuggery and sundry other sub - culture behaviours are results of lack of gainful engagements.The Udom administration is determined  to change the mindsets and attitudes of our youths by reconfiguring them  into a vision that is in strict tandem with the Dakkada philosophy which is a launch towards greatness. 

Suffice to say that  AKEES has successfully merged with the Dakkada philosophy and  crystallised into a galvanising tool. In about 15 months,  more than 21 thousand people have registered for the AKEES programme in acknowledgement of the moral demand that they must rise to their fate of greatness.  It  is good bye to the era of complacency, lamentation and self pity. It is a period of reawakening and realization that our destiny lies in our hands and that with GOD on our side, our dreams are within our reach. That is what this robust vision midwifed by the Udom Emmanuel administration has redefined for Akwa Ibom people.  

Interestingly,  AKEES thrives on ideas . In deference to its underpinning,  it has made itself a market place where  ideas enjoy  a think through.  It is possible therefore for one to walk into an AKEES centre with an idea but without tools for execution and come out a millionaire as they are people who would help in the embellishing of the idea while facilities are also available to enable the implementation of the concept. AKEES also encourages synergy and partnership to broaden production capacity with attendant increase in realizable income.

Pursuant to this , AKEES has evolved four unique enterprise activation models. The first one is that which allows beneficiaries of AKEES to own their individual businesses through small partnership and business based authorisation. There is also the enterprise programme where individuals are supported to start their businesses through the meeting of some certain needs in the market place. Another of AKEES model is the job programmes which is designed to equip youths with the requisite skills sets for diverse industries.  Then comes AKEES common facility and equipment centres drawn from prototypes used in emerging economies in Asia. The model is developed to encourage the formation of industry clusters.  The strong merit of this model is that different entrepreneurs  in similar engagement can utilise the same facilities for their operations.  But one point must be made abundantly clear, according to the facilitator who doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process , AKEES is not involved in the business of giving or sharing money , neither is it into loan shacking  It  is available to help enrich  business ideas and perhaps design  programmes of operation for the owners..

AKEES' success stories are indeed heartening.   Rising from latent and docile youth  entrepreneurship to a record breaking feat of preponderant business initiatives within the State in just 15 months is indeed cheering news. Within the period in reference,  85 businesses have been either created or strengthened.  More than 1500 of 
 youths in the State have been gainfully engaged within the period under review. If such novel leapfrogs could be made within such a short period with humongous number sucked out from participation in sundry social Vices,  then we can imagine what the State and its people stand to achieve with AKEES if the programme is sustained.  Hope is however given vent by the fact that consistency, principle and sustainability are watchwords of AKEES.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of AKEES is its broadbased framework  with unlimited options. AKEES is designed to cover  every gamut  of business.  The human imagination is a resource of limitless possibilities.  The programme encourages the subjection of the human imagination to the task of thinking with AKEES remaining receptive to any idea. Its resource persons are also always on hand to assist in fine-tuning and embellishing the idea for productive application. 

AKEES programmes in the State as at today has covered significant grounds spanning agriculture, finance and legal solutions,  fashion and clothings,  publishing and advertising,  ICT and Data management etc. So far it has proven itself an effective tool of employment generation and viable option for wealth  creation.