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... as BOI Concludes Enumeration Exercise

-By Cletus Udoh- 

The Bank of Industry (BOI) in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government through the Ministry of Trade and Investment, have concluded Enumeration Exercise for the would-be  beneficiaries of the second phase of AK-CARES, Result Area 3.2 operational grants in the State.

The exercise, which lasted for two days in the three Senatorial Districts of Akwa Ibom State, successfully captured thousands of businesses that applied for post Covid-19 intervention funds, to cushion the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic on small businesses.

Those captured were the businesses that met the criteria and deadline set by the Bank of Industry to merit the onward cash transfer for ailing businesses as provided by the Akwa Ibom State Government in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank.

The programme is intended to pull back ailing businesses, as a way of stimulating the growth and prosperity of Nano, Micro and Small Enterprises {NMSEs} in a post Covid-19 economy.

The enumeration exercise which was held last

Monday and Tuesday  in the State, sought to ascertain the authenticity of the prospective beneficiaries through biometric capturing and was greeted with impressive turn-out across the three Senatorial Districts.

Welcoming the would-be beneficiaries at Edinan Hotel and Suites Conference Hall - Uyo, the State Programme Manager of AK-CARES (Result Area 3.2), Mr Michael Essien-Ibanga congratulated the potential beneficiaries for attaining the enumeration stage and wished them well in the programme.

Mr Essien-Ibanga appealed to them to conduct themselves orderly during the exercise and provide correct  information to ensure successful capturing.

Participants who spoke separately at the three centres, applauded the Akwa Ibom State Government for keying into the NG-CARES initiative to stimulate economic recovery in line with the ARISE Agenda of the present administration to boost Nano, Micro and Small Enterprises (NMSEs) in the State.

In Uyo centre, Miss Emem Ime, a Fashion Designer, Mr Aniekan Edem Sam of Anisa's Enterprises and Mr David Okpo, Aluminum Fabricator, narrated their ugly experiences  during the pandemic and therefore, reasoned that, AK-CARES Programme  is a laudable intervention to revitalize ailing businesses.

 They  applauded Governor  Umo Eno for giving prompt approval for the commencement of the second phase and solicited its sustenance in view of the social and economic impact in the State.

In an interview with the Media Lead, AK-CARES, Result Area 3.2, at Ikot Ekpene Centre, potential beneficiaries, Mr Cyril Udoh, the GM of Cyril Building Enterprises, Nto Ndang, Obot Akara LGA, Mr Otobong Sunday Umoekam - MD, Otobong Multiple Ventures, Ikot Enwang,  Ikot Ekpene, Miss Comfort Udo, owner of Commy's Food Stuffs, Obot Akara and Mrs Unyime Ibanga - Director, U & B Farms, Oruk Anam LGA, appreciated the State Government, Ministry of Trade and Investment for transparency and BOI for setting a standard criteria to allow only genuine businesses to benefit and promised to make very good use of the operational grant if shortlisted.

Miss Monica John Mark and Secondus Mkpidut, who identified themselves as General Managers of Peculiar Whole Food, Esit Eket and Secondus Ventures in Eket LGA, described the programme as the best thing that has happened to business owners in the State, as it would give them the opportunity to expand their business frontiers, thereby contribute to job creation.

The two days exercise was closely supervised and monitored by the Bank of Industry personnel, AK-CARES Implementation team,  Ministry of Trade and Investment, members of the State Cares Coordinating Unit, led by  Head of the Unit, Mrs Enobong Okponkpong, among others.

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