“The money is for you to stimulate the economy of the state so you can be a wealth creator and employer of labour” – Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu, Deputy Governor, Abia State
The Abia State government through its Ministry of Digital Economy and SME under the keen supervision of Hon, Dr. Mathew Chikodi Ekwuribe concluded its first phase of distribution of financial disbursements to support small scale business owners in the state, to regain balance in the South East SME hub.
Under the umbrella of the NG-CARES, a programme originally designed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the livelihoods of individuals and communities whose businesses and source of livelihood were badly affected during those locust years, especially owners of micro and small enterprises.
Recipients of the financial palliatives had embarked on a ‘Thank You’ rally in excitement as they marched through the quiet state capital and finally converge at the Government House, Umuahia to show appreciation to the government of Governor Alex Otti for living up to expectations especially in matters that concerns the welfare and economy of every residents of the state who had suffered untold economic hardship as a result of the pandemic and poor leadership of previous administrations.
In keeping to its promises of prioritizing the welfare of people under its administration the Alex Otti government had taken the lead in financing the early disbursement of incentives ranging from N1 Million, N600, 000, N400, 000 and N100, 000 respectively to small scale business owners in the state to enable them rejoin the wheel of economic progress that has been revived since the emergence of the Alex Otti led Labour Party government in Abia State.
The enthusiastic crowd was received by the Deputy Governor H.E. Engr. Ikerchukwu Emetu, in his remark; he had praised the people in attendance for their wisdom in coming to show appreciation to the government of Abia State under the leadership of the Executive governor, Dr. Alex Otti for the role they have played in keeping to its campaign promises to the people especially in the areas of stimulating the economy through the Ministry of Digital Economy and Small & Medium Scale Enterprises
“The money is for you to stimulate the economy of the state so you can be a wealth creator and employer of labour. This administration is not discriminatory in the disbursement of the funds as non-Abia indigenes resident in the state equally benefitted from the grant”, He said.
The Hon Commissioner of Digital Economy and Small & Medium Scale Enterprises, Dr. Mathew Ekwuribe, addressing the crowd, stated that “Governor Otti is transforming the SMEs from wealth seekers to wealth creators. and he expect you to maximize the opportunity diligently”. He assured that more grant schemes will be rolled out in due course.
It will be noteworthy to state here that the NG Cares is a Federal Government initiatives backed by the World Bank in partnership with the state government to bring life back into moribund businesses that rolled up due to the pandemic era that led to the closure of many MSEs, loss of jobs, and thereby increasing the population of Nigerians living below the poverty line.
As a response to the hardship caused by the pandemic era and in line with the vision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, the Federal Government of Nigeria, on behalf of the 36 states and the FCT, sought and obtained assistance from the World Bank to implement a two-year emergency response programme, named the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES).
NG-CARES leverages on past, successfully implemented government interventions such as Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), National Cash Transfer Programme (NCTP), National FADAMA Programme, State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) and Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO)