No fewer than 1,300 direct job opportunities are to be created for the teeming youths in Akwa Ibom State at the St. Gabriel’s Coconut Factory when it becomes operational in September this year.
Governor Udom Emmanuel made this known on Friday while inspecting the installation of production lines at the Coconut Factory located in Mkpat Enin, Akwa Ibom State.
Mr Emmanuel who expressed satisfaction at the level of work by the project contractors, VKS, noted that the project will not only employ 1300 jobs for youths but will also have more than 3000 others employed indirectly.
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He said the project will also provide technology transfer from the foreign experts to Akwa Ibom people while boosting the economy in the State.
“If you check some of these units there is a combination of Asian and European technology.
“We still need those Indians because a lot of them will take up training our locals and they will also take part in technology transfer to our locals so our prayer is that the situation in Indian improves so they can be allowed to travel and interact with other people.
“We should be able to troubleshoot certain things, take for example once we are not processing coconut, we should also have a production line that can process palm kernel oil without changing a pan because we are very rich in palm kernels in this region”, he added.
The governor assured Akwa Ibom people that his agricultural investments will generate raw materials to feed the factory, hinting that Akwa Palm in Esit Eket will be re-activated to boost supply at the factory.
While blaming the delay in completion of the project on the outbreak of Covid-19, he called on youths in Mkpat Enin to support the government’s industrialization programmes and protect the facility against hoodlums and vandals.
Conducting the governor around the Coconut factory, the Principal Consultant, Engr Francis Uwah said, the factory will provide numerous employment opportunities, while other companies will be attracted towards acquiring the products and the by-products in the factory.
“The by-products will have further processes like the oil will be repackaged into bottles to be sold in shops and supermarkets, packaging companies will come in, the chaff from the shell can be used for fuel and manure, the meat of the coconut can be used to make flour, so many multiplier effects”, he noted.
The Architect, VKS construction, Ganze Aydingenc, said the Coconut factory has a capacity of processing 300,000 coconuts per shift which will produce 66 tons in a day from three shift of production while employing 300 people to work in a shift.
“This factory will produce 300,000 coconuts in a shift and it will produce 22 tons, if you do the three-shift it will produce 66 tons”.