In fulfillment of his campaign promises to his constituents, the Member representing Abak/Etim-Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Elder Aniekan Umanah on Friday, June 5, flagged-off the disbursement of N150 Million Agriculture and business development empowerment funds to his constituents to boost their economic capacity.
Over 50 beneficiaries drawn from the three local government of Abak, Etim-Ekpo and Ika smiled home with cheques of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) while others collected N300,000 each from the lawmaker in the first phase of the empowerment programme.
Presenting cheques to the lucky beneficiaries at his residence in Abak, Umanah said the empowerment program was his way of supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel’s effort in boosting food production, trade and commerce, as well as enhancing the economic capacity of his constituents. He disclosed that the gesture will be a continuous exercise as the next batch of beneficiaries would be announced soon.
The secretary of the foundation, Hon. Eseme Essien who reflected on the economic hardship dealt the world by the ravaging COVID 19 pandemic, said the need to diversify to agriculture is what fueled Aniekan Umanah foundation’s decision to roll out the scheme, which he noted is in support of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s economic post COVID-19 reconstruction plan.
The wife of the federal lawmaker, Dcns. Maureen Aniekan Umanah during her vote of thanks, urged the beneficiaries to key into all agricultural business opportunities and utilize the fund appropriately for the achievement of desire result.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after disbursement, Elder Umanah said his decision to embark on the empowerment programme which will be a continuous exercise in the federal constituency was informed by his desire to ensure sustainable economic development amongst his constituents inline with the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“It is about our determination to stay connected with the vision of His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel in ensuring that we raise the bar of economic sustainability in the state.by ensuring we encourage our people to do certain things for themselves to have a source of livelihood”.
“Today we commenced the first batch of 150 Million empowerment scheme to ensure that they venture into some agricultural business. The global economy is on its knees now, and we must begin infuse some creativity into our people to begin to do things and they need some seed capital to be able to do this. We are emphasizing on agriculture, and by way of supporting them to do one or two things for themselves”.
The beneficiaries who were full of appreciation to Hon. Umanah for putting smiles on their faces, promised to utilize the funds in growth and expansion of their businesses. Nsini Godswill Akpanntong, a soap producer from Ikot Anya in Etim-Ekpo who said she has been in the soap production business for over 10 years, said her business had witnessed a lull recently owing to the lockdown occasioned by COVID19 pandemic. She said the funds given to her by the Federal lawmaker would be used in purchasing oil, necessary chemicals and other materials for her soap production business.
“My brother, this money came to me at the right time after the lockdown. I have been in soap production business for the past 10 years. I am so excited today. May God bless Hon. Aniekan Umanah. I wish him long life and good health and it is my prayer that God would continue to keep and sustain him for us”.
Another beneficiary, a rice seller from Abak, who was visibly elated at the lawmaker’s benevolence, said the money would go a long way in boosting her business, and described Hon. Umanah as a blessing to the federal constituency.
A poultry farmer from Ika, Mrs. Mary Udo Ekpo thanked the National Assembly Member and his wife, Mrs. Maureen Umanah for supporting her business, saying with the stimulus package she has collected, her poultry farm would witness expansion.
at the event were various stakeholders of the federal constituency including the former Chairman of Etim Ekpo LGA, Rt. Hon. Uduot Jack; a former Council Secretary in Ika, and Youth Leader, Barr. Utibe Nwoko; Obonguwana Uwana Ibokette, Barr. Mbetobong Okpongette, Apostle Noah, Mrs. Useneno Tom among others.
Credit: Mfonobong Ukpong