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Egbukole Royal Family Empowers 59 Youth On Entrepreneurial Skills

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FROM VICTOR DURUAMAKU-OWERRI

 

The Egbukole Royal Family in Egbu community, Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Monday empowered handsomely, 59 young entrepreneurs’ on various skills.

 

According to the Traditional Ruler of the community, HRM, Eze Uchenna Mitchell Egbukole (Ochoronma VI of Egbu Kingdom) the empowerment is in remembrance of his late father, Eze Mitchell Egbukole who died 25 years ago.

 

He added that being benevolent by nature, the royal family do not worship any other God apart from the Almighty God, adding that they were seven children, three sons and four daughters pointing out that they have remained together and complete.

 

His Royal majesty said following my late father’s inspiration and advise, we the family members agreed to set up this foundation.

 

He explained, “What we are doing today is giving back to the society, assuring that the selection of the beneficiaries was done transparently by a Canadian based consultant who handled the screening of the applicants”. Adding that those selected for the empowerment were selected on merit.

 

He urged the beneficiaries to wisely use the fund given to them for what it is meant for, believing that this is a way the royal family would contribute to the government effort to strengthen the country’s economy.

 

However, out of the 59 young entrepreneurs, 50 of them received the sum of N1million each while the remaining nine received the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) each from the Foundation.

 

Among the beneficiaries were some physically challenged young people, including a sight impaired, Mr. Emeyeonu Samuel and Miss Nwosu Chidinma, who moves around on wheelchair.

 

Expressing her joy and thanksgiving to the Royal family Miss Nwosu said, “I am very happy today and grateful to God and the Royal family to be a beneficiary.

 

She further said, “With this money I will buy the things I do not have in my shop, explaining that she operates a business centre in Owerri the state capital.

 

In his own comments, the blind Emenyeonu Samuel, said he is grateful to God for making him be one of the beneficiaries promising to properly use the money to expand his business.

 

Speaking at the ceremony which took place at the palace of the Traditional Ruler, the founder, Prince Ikenna Egbukole, said that the foundation, was established to honour the legacy of his Late father, HRH Eze (sir) Mitchell Ezesomaga Egbukole, the Ochoronma, the VI of Egbu autonomous community.

 

According to him, his late father, was a visionary leader who believed deeply in education and entrepreneurship to transform lives and communities”.

 

He further explained that in the year, 2019 the foundation launched the scheme to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their father’s passing.

 

Prince Ikenna Egbukole revealed that the initial programme of the foundation focused on Egbu autonomous community, then, awarding One million naira to each five promising young entrepreneurs and 300,000 naira each to three others totaling N5.9million, adding, “today five years later, we gather to celebrate the tremendous growth of our initiative”.

 

“The second edition of the scheme has expanded its reach to include 48 communities across Owerri North, Owerri West and Owerri Municipal Local Governments” he said, pointing out that the foundation has also increased its funding almost tenfold.

 

He believes that this event, demonstrates the foundation commitment to supporting entrepreneurship on a broader scale.

 

Prince Ikenna, also revealed that the response to this year’s programme, has been overwhelming as the foundation received 1,130 application from ambitious young people across these communities, saying that the foundation resources allowed the funding of a select number.

 

However, he explained that the selection process was very rigorous and impartial as it engaged an independent Canadian company “Ogytel” to evaluate the applications based on criteria including business, knowledge, marketing strategy, customer understanding, business viability, scalability and proposed use of funds.

 

He congratulated the beneficiaries pointing out that they emerged successfully from a highly competitive process with a five percent success rate.

 

Also speaking at the occasion the Director-General of the foundation, rear Admiral Lawal Baje (Rtd) noted that the foundation was celebrating 25 years memorial of Late Eze Mitchel Egbukole a great Nigerian patriot and son of the rich soil of Egbu Kingdom.

 

According to him, “This moment calls for a soba reflection for us all to learn lasting lessons from the glorious life of trajectory of the ICON where memory the foundation is celebrating today”.

 

He noted that his Royal Highness of blessed memory, played his part in nation building, economic and social development and promotion of entrepreneurship.

 

According to him, “he worked in the ministry of commerce and industry where he retired as the chief industrial promotions officers after acting as the permanent secretary and as the director-general in the ministry of commerce and industry in Imo state”.

 

He also saw the Late Eze Egbukole, as visionary and unifier of good and compassion, pointing out that the seeds he planted are bearing fruit 25 years after in the lives of the 59 beneficiaries out of which 50 beneficiaries each got one million naira (N1m) and 9 others got N500,000 each as seed capital to start or expand existing business.

 

This event, attracted the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, who was represented by the state commissioner of youths and sports, Dr. Emeka Mandela, the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs chief Mrs. Ruby Emele and other top state government officials.

 

Also all the traditional rulers of the three local governments and the chairmen of the Imo state council of traditional rulers, Eze Okeke and their representatives graced the occasion.

 

Some of the beneficiaries physically challenged persons expressed gratitude to the foundation for the empowerment.

 

 

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