Aggrieved trainees of ‘Ibom 3000 project’ threaten protest

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Some of the trainees of the 3000 project of Akwa Ibom State Government, who claimed to be abandoned, have threatened to stage a protest.

The state government, through the Ministry of Trade and Investment, had in 2021 commenced the training of 3,000 youths in a scheme meant to identify, train, mentor, empower and build the capacity of existing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and startups across the 31 local councils of the state.

The scheme was meant to run in three phases with each phase having 1000 trainees who would focus on three areas of choice which included, oil and gas, agribusiness, ICT, and SMEs to enable them to secure gainful.

However, the beneficiaries of the project, who have successfully concluded their training on April 2021, have expressed worry that they have neither gotten the certification nor startups as promised by the government over one year of the exercise.

It was gathered that the graduation exercise was stalled following the resignation of the then commissioner, Mr. Prince Akpabio in pursuit of his political ambition.

A trainee, who identified himself as Mfon, narrated to our correspondent that the new Commissioner, Engr. Camillus Essien Umoh, invited them to the state secretariat for a graduation ceremony but later dismissed them promising to fix another date for the exercise as he was very new in office.

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Mfon, who lamented that nothing has been done yet, urged the state government to fulfill its promise by giving them the start-ups so as to put what they learnt into practice adding that they are wasting away.

Another trainee, who did not want her name mentioned for fear of victimisation, regretted that despite the stress they passed through and the monies spent on transportation from her local government, Ikono, to the State Secretariat, Uyo which was their rallying point, she is yet to receive the startups from the government.

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