Mkpat Enin local government council of Akwa Ibom is to commence production of safety and military boots.
The chairman of the Council, Hon. Ekanem Brown who stated this in Uyo while briefing newsmen on his achievement revealed that the shoe factory which has started production will in addition to producing the military shoes produces durable and high quality shoes including safety boots, dressing shoes, leather slippers and sandals, school shoes (Cortina) and canvas, saying it is designed to be one of the best in Africa.
The chairman who disclosed that 157 hectares of land had also been acquired for integrated farming programme of the council said that the council is currently cultivating tomato, maize cucumber, which is soon expected to turn in N12m to the council’s treasury after cultivation.
Still speaking on his achievement within 100 days in Office, the Council boss stressed that besides completing and reequipping the abandoned shoe factory in the area, he has refurbished a 165 KVA and a 40KKVA generating plants, invested in primary healthcare and grading of rural roads across the area.
According to him, he has also been able to reconnect the council area and the neighboring communities to public power supply, which had not functioned for the past six years; repair and reinstalled three boreholes within the Council secretariat and established Ibom Innovative and Technology Academy, with NBTE working on accreditation.
To further boost agricultural development of the area, he said 10,000 suckers of plantain are being planted, explaining that on maturity, the plantain plantation will attract to the area four factories that will be involved in the processing of the plantain meals.
“Already I have sent a bill to the legislature that will enable the council protect and sustain these investments. This is strategic because I know the benefits that will accrue to the council if this is done.
“I came from the private sector and have been involved in agric projects and so I am well-schooled and have prior knowledge of such things. I am also doing this because the new injection power station being built by the state government will soon be completed and that is what these small scale industries will largely need to survive and of course in addition to market.
“Our shoe manufacturing plant has the best machines in the Niger Delta and the plantain plantation will of course result in the establishment of four manufacturing plants that will make use of the different parts of the plantain.
“The outer part of the plantain stem will be utilized by a manufacturing plant for the production of POP for house ceilings, the fluid from the stem will be used by another plant for industrial products and yet another plant will use the inner part of the stem for the production of carton while of course the plantain itself will be processed into many uses,” the Chairman explained.
The local government chairman who said the council has adopted “strategic partnership” in reaching out to investors, said off takers were already available for the cucumber crops being harvested from the farm, while more than 30 youths have been employed in the farm.
“I need to grow the local economy and we expect to rake in N7 million monthly from the seven hectare of farmland used for the cultivation of cucumber and other crops,’’ he said
He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for the developmental projects sited in the area, some of which he listed to include; the coconut plantation and refinery, the Ekim Power Station, construction of roads, upgrading of facilities in Akwa Ibom State University and appointment of Mkpat Enin Indigenes into positions in his administration.
Blessed with arable soil and favorable weather condition, Brown described Mkpat Enin local government area as one of the major food baskets of Akwa Ibom State stressing that the area is being position to be a regional market in the country.