Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Special Duties and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs have lauded the contributions of the Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey Youth Entrepreneurship Support Scheme (RHAB-YESS) to the success of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Completion Agenda, through youth and enterprise development.

The Commissioners, who were Special Guests to the event, made this known on Wednesday at the Conference Room of the State House of Assembly where eight young entrepreneurs were given over N1.4Million as seed-money to boost their businesses.

Encouraging the entrepreneurs (beneficiaries of 12th and 13th editions of RHAB-YESS), the Commissioner for Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Engr. Effiong Efiakedoho, tasked them to be hardworking and ensure their prizes are properly used.

He thanked the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and sponsor of the scheme, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, for thoroughly driving the Governor’s Dakkada Philosophy to the youth and for adding to the success of the Completion Agenda.

Rt. Hon. Etteh further supported entrepreneurs with N30,000 each and urged them to be diligent, prudent, dedicated and committed to their businesses.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Elder Ini James Ikie, said “fostering entrepreneurship is key to expanding employment opportunities for Akwa Ibom youth. I commend RHAB-YESS effort towards complementing Governor Udom Emmanuel’s successes in the area of creating jobs and increasing employment opportunities through entrepreneurship development.”

He charged the entrepreneurs to see their involvement in entrepreneurship as their own way of contributing to the development of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Head of Insurance Department and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Uyo, Dr Sunday Akpan, who gave a pep-talk on business, described the sponsor of RHAB-YESS as an angel investor.

He charged young intending and business owners to always thrive to ensure their ventures are goal-oriented, well-planned out and with requisite management skills, stressing that “money may not always be a hindrance to business owners.”

Responding, the sponsor of the scheme, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, said the initiative, RHAB-YESS, was borne out of sheer love for enterprise development through SMEs.

Represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Member representing Etinan State Constituency, Barrister Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, Rt. Hon. Bassey urged the beneficiaries to make good use of their seed-money to encourage the scheme.

Earlier, the Manager of the Scheme, Mr. Darlington Udobong, who set the tone for the event, said being an indigene of Akwa Ibom State remains the only eligibility to the scheme.

He added that “winners are chosen through an online contest that allows the public to comment (vote) on any video of their choice. The video must capture your bio data and what you do as an entrepreneur and with that, you are good-to-go.”

Winners of the 12th Edition are John Bassey Ekpenyong (N250,000), a Motor Lubricant Seller from Okobo LGA; Mmeyene Akpabio (N150,000), a Baker from Etinan LGA; and Edikan Monday John (100,000), a Barber from Nsit Ubium LGA.

Winners of the 13th Edition are Emem Edem Asuquo (N250,000), a Hair Stylist from Uruan LGA; Happiness Ezekiel James (N150,000), a Petty Trader from Essien Udim LGA; Anthony Etim (N150,000), a physically challenged Food Stuff Trader from Uruan LGA; Godsaves Ubom (N100,000), a Computer Repairer from Nsit Ibom LGA, and Paul Effiong (N250,000), a Fisherman from Uruan LGA.

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