…Centre in line with Governor Eno’s Arise agenda
Expectations appear high among experts in entrepreneurship that Akwa Ibom State is on the road to becoming a training hub for young entrepreneurs.
Should this happen, the recently established Ibom Leadership and Entrepreneurial Development Centre (Ibom-LED) led by newly appointed Ekaette Umoh, pioneer director-general, would have done much to raise thousands of entrepreneurs from the army of unemployed in the state, ranked as the second highest unemployment rate (45.2 percent) in the country.
Figures from the nation’s data agency, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicate that, as of the fourth quarter of 2022 (Q4 2022), Akwa Ibom State ranked second highest unemployment rate after Imo with 48.7. A littoral oil-rich state, Akwa Ibom has a GDP of $19.25 billion (N7.7 trillion) as of 2021.
Specifically, Ekaette Umoh said her Ibom-LED is “poised to deepen entrepreneurship development in Akwa Ibom State and achieve the attendant benefits of job creation for the teeming youthful population and increased GDP for the state”.
She said the Centre, which is in line with Governor Eno’s Arise agenda, aims to raise value-based, no-excuse, impactful leaders who are appropriately skilled to deliver world-class goods and services in their sectors of influence.
A chartered accountant, Umoh was headhunted by Governor Umo Eno from the faculty of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) at the Pan African University, Lagos and African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, Abuja.
The agency will soon deliver training to 400 entrepreneurs sponsored by the state government. These entrepreneurs attended a recently concluded Made-in-Akwa Ibom trade fair. The governor was said to be impressed with their output despite their limited resources; and asked that Ibom-LED train them and support them into more substantial businesses. He released N250 million to run the project.
Before her appointment as Ibom-LED director-general, Ekaette, who is also a mentor at Founder Institute, is the current president of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA) northern zone.
Known as “The Profitability Queen”, she is committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses thrive. She draws from her wealth of experience as a chartered accountant and chartered microfinance banker.
Umoh has authored two books—Aspire: Starting A Successful Business and Those Teenage Years. She has spoken and facilitated at significant conferences, retreats and seminars.