By Micheal Joseph Okon
The production of toothpicks and pencils by the Mr Udom Emmanuel led administration in the state seem to have generated political mockery by the uninformed. Even the Tomato plantation doesn’t seem to catch the fancy of those who think in terms of white collar jobs,but great things sure do come in little packages.
Nigeria would have remained the giant of Africa and subsequently the world if we appreciate little beginnings with consistency to outdoing our past.
When the minister for Science and Technology; Mr Ogbonnaya Onu announced to the world that Nigeria will start producing pencils by 2018,I guess he was talking like most of our Youths who wish for greatness but will not dare to start small till the opportunity and drive to ever start anything worth emulating in life fizzles away.
Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel on the contrary was thinking in terms of building capacity gradually for competitive advantage,the more reason pencils, toothpicks and tomatoes are daily leaving the shores of Akwa Ibom state years ahead of feasibility studies of a Federal minister.
Industrialization is a process and the seemingly insignificant products remain the foundation for greater achievements. Its been a National shame importing toothpicks and pencils every year,but thanks to Governor Udom Emmanuel who through The Akwa Ibom Entreprise And Employment Scheme (AKEES),self reliance as a state is fast becoming a reality.
LESSON FOR LIFE.
There is no shame in starting small. Its better to get your hands dirtied in the farm with food on table than go a begging from one politician to the other. Every great man or woman was once a baby. Every big shot was once a small shot who kept shooting.
The more Tomatoes we produce, the greater the propensity to building an Agro Allied Tomatoes paste industry that will create Jobs. With tooth picks production, our Youths can engage Bamboo planting as a means of livelihood. What used to be seen as waste newspapers are being recycled for pencil production. Recycling Business is now an option for economic growth all over the world and Akwa Ibom Youths can take advantage of waste for wealth creation.
More people need to learn from Governor Udom Emmanuel model of building greatness by starting small. Start from where you are and grow to where you ought to be. You can achieve today what others are projecting to happen in the next 5,10,15 and 20 years.
Success is all about thinking outside the box. If our leaders have always thought in Mr Udom perspective, we would have done better than the prevailing recession.
® Michael Joseph Okon is the International President Coalition Of Youth Leaders (CYL) In Akwa Ibom State.
© FRIENDS OF UDOM EMMANUEL ON FACEBOOK (FOUE).