The Akwa Ibom State government has said it has sold over two million high-quality pencils since the state began pencils production last year.
It said the pencils apart from supplying them to Nigerian markets, the products also found markets in the neighbouring West and East African countries.
Special Adviser to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Mr. Ufot Ebong, said in Uyo on Sunday that the high-quality pencils and toothpicks circulating in Nigeria’s markets are produced through the Akwa Ibom Enterprises and Scheme.
He added that many people cannot identify the products as they are not branded.
“I have testimonials to prove that people love the product. Your wards and indeed Nigerians may be using AKEES pencils without knowing.
“We have sold more than two million pencils and they are selling. Nigerians are buying the pencils without knowing because of the sleeves. Only one sleeve out of the 150 sleeves that we order has AKEES written on it,” he said.
Ebong also revealed that machines for the proposed plastic factory have arrived and would soon be installed, adding that production of plastic products will begin February.
He said, “As part of that same thing we are talking about we needed something that can stand and so that people will get off the streets and get something doing. The next in line was something that was commonly used and there was a ready market for it.
“We thought of plastics and other allied products such as basins, spoons, forks, plates, including paint buckets and all sorts of small things.
“This time around we have learnt our lessons. All our products will be inscribed AKEES plastics because Akwa Ibom are so passionate about what they produce.
“Our fear was that people will not like to buy our products because of the mentality of Nigerians to prefer foreign products as the best,”
The SA to the governor stated that the National Council of Arts has certified pencils produced in the state as the best.