From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom state government has stated its preparedness to enhance self-sufficiency and economic self-reliance among the youths of the state.
In view of the foregoing government has commenced the release of revolving and interest-free soft loans to the youths in the state.
Speaking during the occasion at the multipurpose Ibom Hall, venue of the event, Governor Udom Emmanuel said the exercise was intended to boost the drive towards the realization of the vision of wealth creation by presenting funds to its indigenes to enable them break even in their various enterprises.
The governor announced that the fund which is available to the micro, small and medium enterprise is to cater for 1,000 beneficiaries who are mostly traders.
The percentage of disbursement is 65 for women while the men will access the remaining 35 percent.
He said the loan would boost the working capital of the traders and enable them excel in their business.
Emmanuel also announced plans to organize training workshop on entrepreneurial development and financial management to equip the traders with requisite skills that would facilitate their business undertaking.
The governor charged the beneficiaries to be prudent in the management of fund to enable other beneficiaries access the loan and solicited their partnership in the administration’s determination to create wealth and improve the living conditions of its citizens.
Setting the tone for the occasion, Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akan Okon, stated that the loan was sequel to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) advice to states to empower entrepreneurs, whom he described as the engine room for economic growth.
He thanked the governor for keeping his campaign promise to the traders and warned them against diversion of the funds to other needs.
State President, Conference of Traders Association, Obong Christopher Usoro, observed that traders have never had it so good than now from the government.
He gave high commendation to the state government in its development agenda and supported the gesture with the presentation of an award of excellence on behalf of the traders to the governor.
From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo