Youths in Akwa Ibom State, who are into various forms of business ventures, have been charged to take advantage of tools made available by state government to grow and sustain their businesses.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, gave this charge during the prize presentation ceremony to beneficiaries of the fourth edition of Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey Youth Entrepreneurship Support Scheme (RHAB-YESS), held today at the State House of Assembly Conference Hall, Uyo.

Rt. Hon. Bassey, who was represented by Member Representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency, Hon. Otobong Bob, revealed that he is very interested in the growth and development of youths in the state.

According to him, “Akwa Ibom youths are very industrious and smart, if given support they can generate revenue to better themselves and contribute to growth of our state economy. The essence of this programme is to lend that critical support to those who are already into business ventures”.

He pointed out that in support of Governor Udom Emmanuel Dakkada philosophy, his office will continually sustain the programme.

“This is another example of legislative – executive partnership to better the lives of Akwa Ibom people”, he said while charging beneficiaries to apply the funds judiciously to ensure expansion of their business.

Earlier in his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant on Marketing and Brand Management, Mr. Ime Uwah, told the gathering that they should strive to create lasting value in their business ventures if they which to remain relevant for a long time.

“If you create value, your business will sell. The more lasting the value you create the more relevant your business will be for a long term.

“Financial education is key to growing and sustaining your business. You need to understand cash flow, how to block leakages because most budding businesses crash in the first phase of existence because the initiators lack financial education. You must always have at the back of your mind to make your business attractive as an investment. What investors look for are Integrity in the business operation, proper organization and documentation.”

He revealed that RHAB-YESS is a creditable platform that is adding value to young people. He stated that the programme has built integrity through its transparent selection process and commended the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, for sustaining the lofty programme which supports Governor Udom Emmanuel’s policy drive for small/medium scale businesses.

“We need at least 10 persons committing this amount of money every month into small and medium scale businesses. That will be a huge sum injected into our state economy.

In his opening remarks, the Special Assistant to the Speaker on Media and Communications, Mr. Darlington Udobong, stated that RHAB-YESS is an initiative of the Speaker to support Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Enterprise Development Drive through the Dakkada Philosophy.

He further stated that in four editions since inception of the programme, the Speaker has doled out financial support to the tune N2 million to boost 12 existing ventures and encouraged more entrepreneurs to participate and benefit from it.

Winners of the May edition of the RHAB-YESS contest are Miss Esther Okon Eyakndue, a graduate of Sociology from the University of Uyo and a vegetable farmer, who clinched the first prize of N250, 000; Mr. David Okon Ekanem, an agric entrepreneur, who cultivates cucumber, got N150, 000 while Mrs. Helen Effiong Essien, owner of a small scale palm oil mill in Obio Etoi, Uyo Local Government Area, went home with N100, 000.

In her vote of thanks, on behalf of beneficiaries, Miss Esther Eyakndue expressed appreciation to the Speaker for initiating and sustaining such a transparent and unbiased programme that has gone a long way to touch actual entrepreneurs.

She thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for taking youths of the state out of idleness towards productivity with the Dakkada philosophy and promised to put the fund into judicious use.

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