Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
No fewer than 1000 Abians have benefited from the World Bank-assisted Government Enterprise Employment Programme (GEEP); and Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery And Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) World Bank-assisted programme.
Items distributed included computer sets, laptops, Point of Sale (POS) machines, solar panels and other ICT equipment.
The empowerment programme was in partnership with the Abia State Government under NG- CARES, DLI 3.3 programme implementation/distribution of ICT Solutions.
Flagging off the programme in Umuahia, Governor Alex Otti, lauded the World Bank for partnering the state to empower her citizens who are into Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.
The Governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Small and Medium Enterprises and Digital Economy, Dr Matthew Ekwuribe, advised the lucky beneficiaries to make the best use of the ICT equipment given to them free of charge to improve their businesses.
“We are going to launch a website where Abians will exbit their goods and introduce more capacity building programmes for our citizens,” Otti said.
The Governor who regretted that most youths were educated but not employable, promised to train them in ICT and make them employable.
“We are going to convert our youths from job seekers to Job employers,” he said.
Earlier in his speech the State Co-ordinator of GEEP and NG-CARES, Mr Aliche Chukwudi Kalu, said that the programme was put in place to assist citizens that lost their businesses during Covid-19 pandemic to build and stimulate their businesses again.
He said that a monitoring team had been put in place to ensure that beneficiaries make use of the ICT equipments and other tools given to them to improve their businesses.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr Ogini Chibuzor, and Mrs Ifeoma Eke, thanked the Abia State Government and the World Bank for the gesture, and promised to use the items to grow their individual businesses.