The Commissioner for Information in Akwa Ibom State, Charles Udoh, has appealed to the youth in the state to do away with “begging mentality” and be creative in their thinking.
Mr. Udoh, who spoke Thursday in an interview programme on Atlantic FM, said that creative and sustainable idea was the new way to go in the state.
“It’s not a case of giving the man a fish but teaching the man how to fish. And that opens up more opportunities, and that is sustainable,” the commissioner said.
“I wake up in the morning and find young able-bodied men in front of my house, I get to my office, and I find the same thing. I go back to my house, it is the same thing. All of them have one common denominator – ‘Commissioner, yem mkpo nno (Commissioner, find something for me)’, he said, adding that it was difficult to find one person out of 20 with some creative ideas.
“The only deviation is the one who wants to get married or the ones who have a burial.
“I am saying let’s have a different orientation. Come to me and tell me that you want to start a business and ask me how I can support you.
“It makes more sense. I will be glad, even if I don’t have money, I can give ideas and connections.
“The future of this state cannot depend on ‘yem mkpo nno (find something for me) philosophy’. It has to depend on the philosophy that I have this idea, how can you support me?
“That is the goal of government today,” Mr. Udoh said.
The commissioner said, “My heart bleeds when I walk into supermarkets in Uyo and want to buy stuff, and I hardly find any, maybe one or two supermarkets that are owned by indigenes of the state. And the question I ask myself is: couldn’t we have afforded it? Is it rocket science? No, I don’t think it is rocket science.
“I think we lost that consciousness, we were busy fighting ourselves, we were busy deceiving ourselves, rather than keeping our eyes on the ball.”
The commissioner said that the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel has done much to open economic opportunities for young people in the state to take advantage of.
He mentioned the syringe production plant, the pencil manufacturing plant, the meter manufacturing company and the paint industry as some of the places the youth could vie to become vendors and contractors.
Akwa Ibom, with the oil derivation money accruing to it, is one of the richest states in Nigeria, yet poverty and unemployment still remain high in the state.