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IMPACT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AKWA IBOM STATE; A STUDY OF EKET LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
The concept of entrepreneurship serves as a core variable towards the development of any economy. According to Okechukwu O. C. (2009), the word entrepreneur is French, literally translated, means “between taker” or “go between”.
“Entrepreneurship” by Solomon and Winslow (1988) means “the process of creating something new with value by developing the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychological, social risks and uncertainties, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction.
As we can see, entrepreneurship has to do with the persistent of opportunities to create wealth through innovative creation of products or services that meet the needs of the public, using scare resources in any way that result in growth enterprises which satisfy the expectation of stakeholders whose roles sustain the business.
It is therefore the process which involves a vision of a future state regarding idea, product or services. This process has played vital roles in the economic development of any nation.
It has been pointed out at various times and with varying degrees of emphasizes that entrepreneurship creates employment for the teaming population of any nation. In Nigeria, for instance, it is document that small and medium scale business, the catalyst of entrepreneurship, employs about 30% of the entire labour force (Acquah, 1986).
Entrepreneurship activities help to transform the traditional sector thereby helping in the economic development of a nation and state. In one aspect, it helps in modernizing the people’s perception of life, and in another, it modernizes the traditional handicraft prevalent in the rural economics, by introducing the use of machines instead of manual labour in most economic. Again, the skills of traditional craftsmen are modernized and synchronized with the developments in entrepreneurial activities.
Entrepreneurship helps to mobilize resources that would otherwise remain idle in the hands of people and employ them productively. By so doing, capital formation which is a vital engine of economic growth is encouraged.
As a result of numerous economic activities entrepreneurship activities make large quantities of goods and services available to people. With increased supply of goods and services individual’s demands increase as well. This increase in demand, in turn, results in a better standard of living, for the people.
The entrepreneur’s entrepreneurship is a vital contribution to the total economic and social achievement that calls for initiating possible strategies for building the needs capacities, and proper management policies for effective coordination of resources toward inculcating the spirit of independence, enterprises, innovation and nationalism.
Having a bearing on the above, Akwa Ibom State government, through such bodies as Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and Akwa Ibom State investment corporation (AKICORP), in attempt to manage state affairs to realize optimum robust and manifest growth, displays successive applicable activities by empowering “private take the lead” in the state economy.
Besides, the state is blessed with several untapped mineral resources, a potential that have learnt itself to the industrialization drive of government.
Government has determined to tow the path of economic diversification, innovation, tourism and Agriculture besides petroleum, and continues to play a major role in entrepreneurial ad industrial development to keep the economy in a perpetual stat4e of growth.
According to Akwa Ibo State investemtn corporaion publication http://akwaibominvest.ng/siteconstruction/aksg-signs-mougreen............of 7/72016, 3.4pm.
Entrepreneurship capital building and strengthening of the organized private sector (OPS) in Akwa Ibom State were organized, as development impact, in two major workshops.
An investment sensitization workshop of chairmen and principal officers of Local Government transition councils in the 31 Local Governmetn Areas of the state on January31, 2012. The objectives of the workshop was to provide a platform for the effective collaboration between the state investment corporation and critical stakeholders at the Local Government level for the purpose of promoting cottage industries and harnessing the entrepreneurial potentials of the people at the grassroots.
As a second stage, the first Akwa Ibom Entrepreneurs forum was held on April 3rd to 5th, 2012, with the theme “partnership for industrial transformation of Akwa Ibom State”. The forum’s objectives was to create a database of entrepreneur in the state in terms of who they are, what they are producing and at what locations. The workshop was also used to solicit the participation o the organized private sector (OPS) in achieving the “one industry per local Government Area based on their comparative advantage” policy in the state by Governor Akpabio’s Administration. Also, to institutionalize the forum to provide the necessary channel of communication between the OPS and AKS. Government and its agencies. Two hundred and seventeen (217) participants attended the forum, (http://akaibominvest.ng/siteconstruction/aksg-sign-mou-withgreenw...).
The process that would lead to the establishment of the following new strategies industries.
v A petroleum Refinery to be sited Eko, Eastern Obolo.
v A 250 Mw Private Power Plant to be sited in Ikot-Abasi.
v A waste paper recycling plant to be sited in Essien Udim.
v A cassava cultivation and processing project to be sited in four Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State.
v A water purification chemicals manufacturing and Multi-products facility to be sited in Abak.
It is in the light of the above that the study seeks to assess the impact of entrepreneurship on the development of Akwa Ibom State as a case study. The issue is how many of these companies are functioning to provide employment in the state. Apart from hotels such as Villa Marima, Royalty Hotels, Crystal palace, Roseboom hotels, Eden hotels and few others to mention located in other Local Government Areas within the state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The need for the development of Akwa Ibom State by investing in entrepreneurial development such as Micro, Small and Medium enterprises cannot be overemphasized.
Development of all parts of the state, attempting to spread industries to the 31 Local Government Areas, examining the relationship between the industrialization policy and the level of unemployment in the state, and examination of the relationship between the programmed economic growth and economic development have all raises issues.
Generally speaking, the problem of impact of entrepreneurship on the development in Akwa Ibom State is that of making Akwa Ibom State and industrial hub, a destination for investors and commitment to good governance