The Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom, Mr Ekanem Brown, has called on investors to partner with the council to grow the economy and reduce youth restiveness.
Brown spoke in Uyo yesterday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the council had provided some infrastructure such as refurbishing the 40 KVA and 165 KVA transformers, in addition to linking the secretariat with public power supply.
The chairman said the road network within the local government had been graded to attract investors to the area.
He said the council had also resuscitated a shoe factory which had been abandoned by two successive governments.
Brown said the resuscitation of the factory was part of measures to create jobs and reduce youth restiveness.
The chairman said the shoe factory had started to test run production and was canvassing for prospective buyers to take it to the market.
According to him, the shoes being produced from the factory are of high quality that meet international standard.
He said the shoe factory would, at the moment, concentrate with the production of Cortina shoes for students and military boots.
“Even at test run operation, 70 youths are already out of the labour market working in the factory.
‘‘We have the best shoe factory in the South-South of the country,” the chairman said.
Brown said Mkpat Enin soil was fertile for agriculture, adding that he has acquired 150 hectares of land for integrated farming programme.
He said, aside from the coconut refinery, which had been established by the state government, the council had started growing ginger and cucumber.
The council boss told NAN that the specie of cucumber planted was capable of beimg harvested within 45 days, with an income of N12 million in a single harvest.
“In 45 days, the cucumber will mature and the council will make N12 million and will be additional income to the council,” he said.
Brown said since agriculture was now receiving good attention, the council had secured land and planted about 10, 000 suckers of plantains.
According to him, the species planted could be harvested within nine months as against the normal species that would not mature until after 12 months.