In a bid to advance the Dakkada Initiative of the Udom Emmanuel administration, the Directorate of Marketing and Brand Management has flagged-off a statewide recruitment and entrepreneurial campaign aimed at empowering Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs across the state with expert counsel and access to opportunities for developing their businesses.
The scheme will also serve as a tonic to further inculcate and maintain the spirit of enterprise among the citizenry as advocated by the Dakkada philosophy which started few months ago with an awareness and mobilization campaign that went round the 10 federal constituencies of the state seeking to deploy 500,000 ambassadors across the state within a year.
According to the Directorate of Marketing and Brand Management, the recruitment and entrepreneurial campaign themed: ‘Connecting our people to opportunities’ will go round the 31 Local Government Areas of the state and will see the beneficiaries being inducted into the Dakkada Business Forum, a body which will bring together Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs in the state with the aim of sharing business development ideas, resources and information.
The campaign which kicked off on Friday 22nd of July saw the Dakkada team storm Oruk Anam and Ukanafun. The team which took off from Uyo with Special Assistant to Governor on Directorate of Marketing and Brand Management Ime Uwah leading them out, made Oruk Anam their first port of call with the team paying homage to the Transition Committee Chairman, Prince Ubong Idiong who was present at the council secretariat before proceeding to Consummated Farms established by Hon Philip Uwa and located in the sleepy village of Ibianga Ikot Eduek.
At Consummated Farms, Ime Uwah applauded the owner for using his passion and zeal-to-succeed for the betterment of his immediate society. He said the Dakkada team was in his farm to offer him expert counsel and link to opportunities which would greatly aid his productivity.
Conducting the team round the farm, the owner who was one of those inducted as a Dakkada Ambassador during the awareness and mobilization tour outlined the gains and pains in running the farm and appreciated the Dakkada team for keeping to their promise of visiting and assisting where necessary.
On hand to offer expert and technical advice to the farmer were resource persons\experts who accompanied the Dakkada team from Uyo. One of the experts, Efiok Ekott, an Agric Engineer while advising the farmer, encouraged him to learn the act of manufacturing his agricultural products for better financial returns and promised to assist him better practically when the time comes. Another resource person, Barr Abasima Idiong advised the farmer to get his farm duly registered and certified in order to avoid bottlenecks when loans or facilities will be issued out.
The Dakkada team also made another stop at Inen Ikot Essien where a widow, Mrs Pennnah Jack has an Affang plantation. Conducting the team round her expansive farmland which has about 450 stands of Affang, Mrs Jack appreciated the team for keeping to its promise made during the awareness and mobilization tour where she was also inducted as an ambassador.
Ime Uwah commended the farmer for keeping up to her promise of encouraging other women around her to embrace agriculture and assured her of government’s backing in her endevour. Other resource persons from the team who offered experts advice to the women were Mrs Lucy Ekpenyong from the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency (SMEDAN) and Mr Solomon Akaninoh who came from a microfinance Bank.
From there, the team moved to neighboring Ukanafun where the Nwanadia Farms belonging to Mr Ime Atakpa was visited at Ikot Udo Oboboh. The farm which has poultry, piggery and fisheries facilities was commended by the team. The owner, Mr Atakpa highlighted the challenges he’s facing and showed urge to further expand the farm if assisted.
Another point of call in Ukanafun was the Oil Mill at Ikot Akpan Eyo where the owner Mrs Mercy Okorie happily showed the team round the mill which also has a cassava processing plant inside. The mill which has provided employment for women of the area was commended by the team for helping the state reduce unemployment.
However, the women were advised by the resource persons to go for a more modern oil mill to reduce the stress of strenuous labour on the old women. The Dakkada Team promised to render help in this regard by linking the women to various forms of assistance that will greatly impact on their oil business.
The four agro based entrepreneurs visited in Oruk Anam and Ukanafun were each given a letter of induction into the Dakkada Business Forum, a body which will bring together Small and Medium Enterprises in the state with the aim of sharing business development ideas, resources and information.