By Ndifreke Akpan
The Chairman of the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists in Akwa
Ibom Dr Andrew Uwanta has called on the state government to
integrate small scale industrialists into the empowerment plans of
the state government even as he has bemoaned their continued neglect by
successive governments in the area
He has also called for industrial clusters to help incubate and reduce the
cost of manufacturing or processing for such categories of industrialists.
Uwanta told newsmen at the weekend that dearth of access to funds
occasioned by neglect of the sector by successive governments in the state
has remained the major impediment to industrial growth of the
He maintained that small scale industrialists remained the catalyst to
economic emancipation and increased employment in any society
regretting that most administration since the state creation of the state
has done anything meaningful to encourage the sector.
“The problem here too is that people and even some government has failed
to different NASSI from traders. NASSI is made up of small
scale manufacturers and is well structured in Akwa Ibom for government to
deal with.It is unfortunate that successive governments in the state has
failed to deal meaningfully with us and that accounts for
why the state has continued to remain a civil service state.
“Except for ex Governor Victor Attah, most administrations since the state
was created have done nothing meaningful to encourage the small scale
industrislists. Attah’s experiment could have been the catalyst needed to
revamp of the sector but the funds were not managed well and some of the
beneficiaries did not refund the funds given them to enable others get too.
“The present government is concentrating with medium and large scale
industries involving big time investors and huge funding but I want
them to also remember the small scale industrialists because they remained
the catalyst to industrialization of the state.
“They have the capacity to create millions of employment opportunities and
at the same time provide meaningful income to millions of people
in the state. What they need is access to funding with a single digit
interest rate and maybe industrial clusters where access to power and
other facilities will be cheap and you will be surprised at the impact they
could create in the economy of the state.” Uwanta explained.
He backed allegation by the state government that the Federal Government
cheated it to the tune of N6bn in statutory allocation to the state
describing the FG action as politically motivated to starve the state and
PDP of funds.
“We are no fools, we know what they are doing just like they did in Ekiti.
The FG should pay us in fool what is due to us afterall we
produce much of the nation’s wealth.” Uwanta said.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 7.