Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has launched an entrepreneurship support program for young Abians with innovative ideas but who need minimal financial support to actualize their projects.
Speaking during the presentation of funds to the first beneficiary of the program, Mr Chukwudike Okoroafor, from Umunneochi LGA, Governor Ikpeazu who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr ACB Agbazuere, stated that the objective of the program is to support young Abians who have good ideas but lack the financial resources to take off.
According to him, “we hope to use this program to raise at least 24 entrepreneurs within the next two years, with one winner emerging every month for the next two years.
“It has always been our dream to approach empowerment from a different perspective rather than the traditional means of giving Keke NAPEP to graduates as empowerment. We want to support ideas because it is what rules the world and I know there are many young Abians with brilliant ideas we can support as long as they meet our criteria”.
He directed the state Commissioner for Information to set up an appropriate platform for those with good entrepreneurial ideas, within the budget of the program, to participate in a monthly competition with the best emerging as winner.
Speaking after receiving the cash support from the governor, Mr Okoroafor who plans to open a piggery with the funds expressed appreciation to the governor for responding to his plea for support to start up the project and assured that he will make maximum use of the opportunity to launch himself as a major pig farmer.
“When I contacted the Governor for support to start this project, I never knew help would come so fast and I want to assure the Governor that I will never disappoint him. He has surprised me and I know my God will reward him”, he said.
Briefing newsmen, the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, stated that a team made up of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs Ijeoma Ogbonna and DG BCA will select the winners every month and called on young Abians who are resident in the state to submit their proposals to his office in sealed envelopes for consideration.
According to him, “while the first winner emerged from the agric sector, the program is open to all areas of entrepreneurship as long as the proposal can be funded within the monthly one million naira limit. All you need to qualify is to be a young Abian that is resident in the state and have good ideas that can be supported to yield good results.
“The start up grant is non refundable but we have a monitoring team that includes the relevant Local Government Chairman that will ensure that the money is used for the stated purpose.”
He informed that In the spirit of creating more jobs, Governor Ikpeazu is interested in grooming young Àbìàns who are interested in making a career out of horticulture, landscaping and Gardening.
According to him, there is an existing vacancy for instant employment for the first ten who apply through his office.
Chief Okiyi further informed that the total package includes the employment of 7 pupil engineers in each of the 17 LGAs of the state who will be trained by the state ministry of works and deployed for road maintenance assignments.
He advised those who are interested to submit their applications and curriculum vitae to the office of the state Commissioner for works for immediate engagement.
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