Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Our motivation is to contribute to making C'River an Enterprise State - Akak

Ukorebi Esien | 02 September 2020

The chairman and CEO of the Bengies group of Companies, Engr. Ben Akak has said that the motivation behind his business endeavors is to make Cross River an enterprise state in the true sense of the word while assisting the government to take people off the street through the provision of employment and partnership opportunities. 

Akak disclosed this to newsmen yesterday during the opening ceremony of the Bengies Bakery and JossyClean Bridal shop. Akak pointed out that he wants to contribute to the development of the state through the provision of service that will take people off the street while offering them opportunities that will better their lives through employment and partnerships that will provide a means of livelihood to Cross Riverians. 

Stating that this will go a long way in assisting the government to achieve its vision of changing Cross River from civil service to an entrepreneurial state. While appreciating the governor's efforts in easing the stress of doing business in the state, Akak said the concept of taxation is misunderstood, stating that any right-thinking businessman should know he owes the state a duty to pay his tax. That the tax waiver by the governor is a good initiative to encourage businesses. 

"As a responsible citizen, tax is one of the things you must do. But having said that I think the governor has been wonderful, he's been gracious. He's given waivers to a lot of businesses not to pay tax. And I think we should fall within that category, but even if we don't, our emphasis and interest are that no matter how little we can contribute to the economy of this state we will gladly do, that is the motivation."

"We need to help Government as they can't do everything alone, our complimentary effort will help reduce the level of unemployment". Our products are people-oriented. We carried out the need assessment and came out with the Bengies Bakery, and in this launch, we didn't send out an invitation but with the crowd, we all are seeing here, it tells us that Bengies Bread is the people's bread, when you see the people, you see Bengies bread and when you see Bengies Bread the people".

Engr. Ben Akak further advanced that the Bengies Group which also houses the Ben Akak Foundation operates on the principle of service to God and humanity. We need to touch the lives of people, change the narratives, and make life meaningful. "If you look around, insecurity and other social vices are all products of unemployment, we need to provide employment to our teeming youth population, we will be in Ikom very soon, we will move to Uyo and to other places. When people don't have what to do, they resort to all forms of things to make ends meet

While emphasizing on the motive behind his delving into business, the philanthropic business gaint said his businesses are tailored towards taking people off the street, Akak said he needed to overcome fear while delving into business.

Fear was one of the challenges we needed to overcome; taxation and the civil service mentality. We need to take our minds from over-dependence on government. Right from the time of Donald Duke to the present administration, there has always been that conscious effort to change this dependency. We have over 700 staff in the Bengies Group and all we do to create that discipline, focus, and paradigm shift. 

While declaring the business premises open, Bar. Mrs. Elizerberth Ayade, wife of Dr. Frank Ayade appreciated Engr. Akak for his untiring efforts in assisting Cross Riverians out of portvery for his consistent efforts in increasing the economic fortunes of Cross Riverians and the state in the long run. 

She said Bengies Bakery is quite different and unique "I want to welcome everyone here and I sincerely love the fact that I am associated with what is happing here. This is different because God is here." She said. 

For Mrs. Roslyne Akak, wife of Engr. Ben Akak the dynamics of business in Cross River State is changing as the state is gradually turning into an entrepreneurial state. "The success we celebrate today is a product of hard work, commitment, and discipline. We encourage all to imbibe these characteristics to earn a living". She also used the medium to inform the public about the Jossyclean Event Management outfit which is also part of the Bengies Group of Companies which delves into events planning, management, catering services, gift items, and the likes.

The event which was well attended by members of the public had great personalities in attendance