The interest-free loan initiative of the State Government for traders in Akwa Ibom markets has been reviewed to place the administration of the fund with traders’ association, hence guaranteeing more access by intended beneficiaries to the facility.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, announced the new development, Friday, while addressing a gathering of several traders’ associations across the state at Itam Market, Uyo during a special rally to endorse the PDP governorship candidate, Pastor Umo Eno.
The Governor announced the appointment of three new special assistants on trade and market matters and the promotion of Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael to the position of a senior special assistant on trade and market matters.
Governor Emmanuel who was at the market for a thank you visit to the traders’ associations for their support to his administration, expressed satisfaction with activities of traders in the state and their critical role in sustaining the economy, acknowledging that the economy would be not survive without traders.
“Each time I come here you people keep impressing me more and more. There’s so much leadership here, so much good followership, so much love and unity”, he said.
“I have heard the clamour for more SAs on trade and market matters and the promotion of the SA to SSA. Since the voice of the people, as they say, is the voice of God, I say carry go. Let your SA be promoted to SSA and one SA from each of the three Senatorial Districts, but when you are sending your nominees, at least one must be a woman”.
“I have also heard that interest-free loan has helped people a lot. If an initiative is helpful to the people, it should continue. But, please, this time around, the traders’ associations will manage it, so that more serious traders can be identified.
“I cannot do this from my office, so the BOT of different associations will give us one person each so we can constitute a committee. We will commence the administration of the loan immediately.”
In his address, Pastor Umo Eno, who is also an entrepreneur, registered his membership with the Akwa Ibom Traders Cooperative Association.
He promised to consolidate on Governor Udom Emmanuel’s efforts in improving the welfare and commercial activities of the traders and also appreciated the traders for organising the event to endorse him as their gubernatorial candidate.
The member representing Itu State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Kufreabasi Edidem, delivering a goodwill message, conveyed the appreciation of the Itam Market Women Cooperative Society for the interest free loan which their members benefited and for maintaining peace and a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
Hon. Kufre Edidem thanked the Governor for engendering the peace in the state which has afforded the traders to carry out their activities without bothering about insecurity.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters, Mr. Idorenyin Raphael, said traders in the state have been well accommodated in the present administration in the state, describing Governor Emmanuel as the most traders-friendly governor.
He said the traders in the state would support the succession agenda of the Government with the emergence of Pastor Umo Eno, who they claimed is one of them.
Goodwill messages were received from representatives of the traders association in the three senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom; Ben Asuquo spoke on behalf of Eket senatorial district, Elder Ofonime spoke for Uyo senatorial district and Elder Innocent Akpan spoke on behalf of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district traders.
They all appreciated the Governor for giving the traders a place in his administration noting that since the creation of the state, no governor has acknowledged traders the way Governor Udom Emmanuel has done in the last seven years.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Obonganwan Magdalene Udom affirmed the support of the women towards the governorship aspiration of Pastor Umo Eno.
She assured him that the women are with their PVCs to vote and deliver Pastor Umo Eno in the 2023 elections.
There were goodwill messages from stakeholders of the several traders Association in the state. They declared their support and loyalty to the completion agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel and Pastor Umo Eno’s candidacy.
The highlight of the occasion was the endorsement of Pastor Umo Eno and the symbolic presentation of the Holy bible and lantern to the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Umo Eno, and an awards of excellence to the PDP flag bearer for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, the Managing Director of Nsik Motors, Mr. Nsikan Effiong Johnny and the CEO of Hensek Integrated Services, Engr. Uwem Okoko. In a show of appreciation for his support, the market omen presented a variety of food items to Governor Udom Emmanuel.