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Thursday, October 28, 2021

How Inoyo Sponsored Eket Youth Leaders’ on a Month’s Training on Agribusiness to the Benin Republic in 2002 – Fmr. Commissioner for Youths

Udom Inoyo


How Inoyo Sponsored Eket Youth Leaders’ on a Month’s Training on Agribusiness to the Benin Republic in 2002 – Fmr. Commissioner for Youths 

…says his action is unprecedented

Uyo – A former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Akwa Ibom State and the Presiding Pastor of Trinity Gospel Mission, Eket, Pastor Ita Udoh has revealed how the Advisor of Inoyo Toro Foundation, and former Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo invested in youth leaders from the oil-bearing communities through a full sponsorship training on agribusiness at Songhai Farms, Port-Novo, in the Benin Republic.

Pastor Udoh disclosed this during an interview with newsmen in Eket.

Reviewing Akwa Ibom state development plans since its creation 34 years ago, the former Commissioner explained that government and private individuals in the country should endeavor to make it a priority to train youths on how to invest and ensure that some of the challenges hindering them from accessing funds to finance their businesses are tackled like the way a private individual, Mr. Udom Inoyo did, way back in 2002. 

According to the former Commissioner for Youths and Sports, who had advocated for a Youth Development Bank where youths in Akwa Ibom state can acquire loans using their NYSC discharge or degree certificates as collateral, the decision by Mr. Inoyo to send some youths leaders for agribusiness training out of the country had helped built several youths who are today financially stable, many of whom are now job creators. 

He pointed out that there is a need to make conscious policies to build Akwa Ibom youths to understand the need for investment rather than giving them handouts which are almost becoming a norm, noting that about 21 years ago, Mr. Inoyo sponsored youth leaders from core oil-bearing community to Songhai Farm, in Port Novo for training in Agribusiness and when they returned, he influenced their obtainment of loans on a single-digit rate to enable them to proceed with their business plan. 

Clarifying further, the former governorship aspirant and member of the G-22 said that when the youth leaders returned to Nigeria after the training in the Benin Republic, Mr. Inoyo was concerned about the difficulties they and some other youths in Eket and her environs will face, trying to access funds for business, decided to attract a financial organization called the Growing Business Foundation, from Lagos to Akwa Ibom state to give the youths various amount between 2 to 14 million Naira to start their businesses.

Pastor Udoh similarly recounted that Inoyo was further concerned about how the youth would choose the right business to undertake as well as how to manage funds, got a training organization named Support and Training Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) to train those who were unable to attend the training in Port-Novo and others who were interested in investment.

Describing Mr. Inoyo's action as unprecedented, Pastor Udoh recalled that such a thing has never happened in Akwa Ibom state insisting that most businessmen like himself got loans to do business on double-digit rates for, unlike the one, Mr. Inoyo influenced to help the youths and women. 

He explained: "a private individual has undertaken such an initiative before, as far back as 2002. Barr Udom Inoyo, the former Vice-Chairman of ExxonMobil companies in Nigeria, did that for the core oil communities in Akwa Ibom state and it was successful. The Afigh Iwaad Ekid organization which I was the Secretary-General then had a meeting with Barr. Inoyo to rob minds and proffer ways that he can assist empower youths in our community."

"He left with a promise to do something and returned with a financial organization called the Growing Business Foundation (GBF) to help Eket environs and Akwa Ibom people build their businesses. Before then, Barr Inoyo selected some youth leaders in Eket Federal Constituency for one month of training on agribusiness at Songhai Farms in Port-Novo, Benin Republic and sponsored their training full-time", said Pastor Udoh.

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