Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Chairman of the RHAB-YESS Foundation, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, has enjoined youths of the state to be innovative and creative in their search for employment, devote ample time to skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development.

Rt. Hon. Bassey, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Charles Iwatt, made this known at the Conference Room of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Friday during the Entrepreneur Meet & Greet/Cheque Presentation ceremony for winners of September and October Editions of the Foundation’s business support scheme.

He challenged youths of the state to take advantage of the many opportunities presented by the current global pandemic and economic situation in the country, saying “these situations have provided opportunities for citizens to think outside the box.”

The Speaker further maintained that the Udom Emmanuel administration has provided low-hanging fruits and created enabling environment for every young entrepreneurs and youths in the state with innovation and business ideas to thrive.

While appealing to the winners to be prudent and make good use of the seed money given to them by the Foundation, the Speaker said “the entrepreneurship scheme is aimed at discovering, mentoring and empowering young entrepreneurs to financial greatness and self-sustainability. The scheme completely complements Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Enterprise Development Drive.”

A Manager of the programme, Mr. Darlington Udobong, took time to brief participants at the event, saying “being an indigene of Akwa Ibom State remains the only eligibility to the scheme. So far, the Foundation has supported 65 small and medium businesses, done 22 editions, covered 31 LGAs, trained artisans and given over 330 special supports.”

“Winners are chosen through an online contest that allows the public to comment (vote) on any video of their choice. The video must capture applicant’s bio data and what he or she does as an entrepreneur and with that, he or she is good-to-go,” he explained.

At the event, which was graced by the Personal Assistant to the Speaker on General Duties, Mr. Godswill Bassey, three final year students of the University of Uyo were given financial support to aid their project work and clearance.

Winners of the September Edition included Edima Umoh (N250,000), a Fashion Designer from Ibesikpo Asutan LGA; Uyoabasi Edet Umoren (N150,000), a Cobbler from Ikono LGA and Unyime Ben (N100,000), a Petty Trader from Ika LGA.

The October Edition winners included Mary Sunday Udom (N250,000), a Cosmetics Agent from Etim Ekpo LGA; Comfort Nya (N150,000), a Petty Trader from Uruan LGA and Emediong John Akpan (N100,000), a Painter from ONNA LGA.

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