By Uwakmfon Dan
Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and sponsor of the RHAB-YESS Foundation, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, has called on young entrepreneurs in the state to imbibe the spirit of consistency and financial prudence in order to grow their businesses.
Rt. Hon. Bassey, who is the Senator-Elect for the Awa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, gave the charge on Monday during the Foundation’s ‘Entrepreneurs Meet and Greet’ Session at the Conference Room of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Uyo.
Addressing the young entrepreneurs and winners of the RHAB-YESS Foundation online contest for December 2022, January and February 2023, the Speaker said, “To the business people, see this as a stepping stone. Invest what has been given to you and once you are diligent, it will multiply. This is a continuous programme. You must learn how to properly manage your finances and you must be consistent, if you want to grow your business.”
Represented by a revered legal practitioner and Commissioner IV in the Assembly Service Commission, Barrister Godwin Awah, the Speaker challenged beneficiaries of his magnanimity, particularly the students to be hardworking in order to excel excellently.
“To the students, let this be an encouragement to study harder. I want to challenge all of you to upgrade your CGPA. Let the library be your friend. We will continue to assist and I pray you use what is given to you judiciously,” he stressed.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter-Party Matters, Hon. Tony Akan, lauded the Speaker’s benevolence and urged the beneficiaries to use the grants wisely.
“I really commend the Speaker for this novel initiative. It is not easy to see someone reach out to others freely and willingly. There are other things he would have used this money to do but he decided to share it and touch the lives of others. To the beneficiaries, you must be patient, dedicated and willing. Please, use the money given to you wisely,” he admonished.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of IPKISS Investment International Limited, Mr. Peter Bassey, tasked the young entrepreneurs to be patient and focused in their different areas of entrepreneurship.
He further supported the beneficiaries and students with financial assistance.
Earlier in his remarks, the Manager of RHAB-YESS, Mr. Darlington Udobong, explained that the scheme, which is aimed at discovering, mentoring and supporting young entrepreneurs to greatness, complements Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Enterprise Development Drive.
He said the beneficiaries, drawn from different parts of the state, are products of discreet selection processes.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Miss Peace Uduyok, a native of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area who deals on wigs and hair accessories, thanked the Speaker for his magnanimity and promised to utilize the funds judiciously.
Beneficiaries of the December 2023 edition included Mikel Okpon (N250, 000), a Drycleaner from Uyo LGA; Mary Okon (N150,000); a Fashion Designer from Etinan LGA and Enobong Edet (N100,000), an hair stylist from Etinan LGA.
The beneficiaries for January 2023 edition were Peace Uduyok (N250, 000), hair vendor from Eastern Obolo LGA; Eunice Ime Okon (N150,000); a Fashion Designer from Ibiono Ibom LGA and Victory Ignatius Michael (N100,000), a Fashion Designer from Uyo LGA.
For the February 2023 edition, the beneficiaries included Mary Sam Edem (N250, 000), a Fashion Designer from Ibesikpo Asutan LGA; Hannah Effiong (N150,000); a Boutique owner from Uyo LGA and Saviour Sebastian Okon (N100,000), a Vegetable Farmer from Uruan LGA.
Similarly, 15 students from different tertiary institutions received N30,000 each to support their project work, while 13 students received N40,000 each to support their tuitions.
Four Secondary School students were also given the sum of N20,000 each for books and uniforms.
Highpoint of the event, which was attended by the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Mr. Charles Iwatt and the Personal Assistant to the Speaker, Mr. Godswill Bassey, was the presentation of Cheques to the winners and souvenirs to Special Guests.