The Akwa Ibom Government on Saturday disbursed N31 million to 401 entrepreneurs in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to support their businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the funds which were presented through cheques were disbursed under the Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (AK-CARES).
The Chairman of the Steering Committee of AK-CARES, Mr. Emem Bob, said the funds were to revive entrepreneurs who suffered the adverse effects of the COVID-19 scourge on their businesses.
He said the soft skill development training for beneficiaries of livelihood grants, under AK-CARES, was organised by Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development in Uyo.
Bob, who is also the Commissioner for Economic Development, said the nomination of the beneficiaries, went through a transparent process,.
He commended Gov. Udom Emmanuel for giving the approval for the funds to be disbursed to the beneficiaries.
“The Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (AK-CARES) were officially launched in the state on Aug. 29, and have been ongoing across various platforms.
“The AK-CARES is an emergency operation, designed to support budgeted programme of expenditure and interventions at the state level.
“It is targeting existing and emerging vulnerable and poor households, agriculture value chains, and Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I use this opportunity to commend the Federal Government and the World Bank for coming up with this people-oriented programme that seeks to address the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens,” Bob said.
Mrs. Ekaette Akpan, one of the beneficiaries, said while speaking to NAN that she was happy over the kind gesture of the state government.
Akpan said the pandemic had affected her business badly, assuring that the fund would upscale her business from the current stage.
Another beneficiary, Mr. Udeme Ekong, said the pandemic had impacted negatively on his business.
Ekong said he nearly lost out of business, if not for the intervention of the government, promising to make good use of the money, to revive his business.