By Akaninyene Ekong
Rural women and young entrepreneurs in Akwa Ibom State, who are beneficiaries of the 29th edition of RHAB-YESS Foundation’s business grant, have showered encomiums and prayers on the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, for contributing to the growth and development of their businesses.
The beneficiaries, 19 rural women and three young entrepreneurs, were given the sum of N1,450,000 as grants to boost businesses during the ‘Entrepreneurs Meet and Greet’ session of the Foundation on Wednesday at the Conference Room of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Uyo.
One of them, Mrs. Imaobong Michael, who is a Hairstylist from Etinan Local Government Area, said Rt. Hon. Bassey’s show of love and magnanimity has rekindled hope and the enterprise spirit in Akwa Ibom women and youths. Mrs. Michael, who noted that the grant would help her move her business to the next level, expressed gratitude to the Speaker for counting her worthy of the opportunity out of millions of rural women in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Speaker’s representative and Vice Chairman of Uruan Local Government Council, Mrs. Uduak Udoenang, charged the beneficiaries to make prudent use of the grants and also contribute positively to the society. While thanking the women for their unwavering support to the Udom Emmanuel-led administration in the last seven years, she presented Foundation’s prize of N500,000 to three entrepreneurs and N50,000 each to 19 rural women drawn from different local government areas of the state.
In his remarks, the Programme Manager, Mr. Darlington Udobong, thanked the women for coming out in good number, maintaining that the programme, which is aimed at discovering, mentoring and supporting rural women and young Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs to financial greatness and self-sustainability, completely complements the Governor’s Enterprise Development Drive. He took time to explain the rigorous processes involved in selecting winners of the scheme who are drawn from different parts of the state.
The beneficiaries included Semaediong Sunday Ntoiden, a Soil Science student of the University of Uyo and a Fashion Designer from Etim Ekpo LGA, received the star prize of N250,000; Salome Effiong Udo, a Fashion Designer from Mkpat Enin LGA and Blessing Bassey, a Fashion Designer from Nsit Atai LGA.
The 18 rural women were Nsikak Bassey, Imaobong Michael, Evangelist Nelly Emmanuel Ekong, Emme Victor Mbiam, Atim Ekpa, Peace Nwanakwo Okon, Ofonime Archibong, Aniema Benedict Ituen, Patience Augustine Asa, Imaobong Uko Benson,Blessing Victor Ben, Udeme Udoh, Elizabeth Ini Nnah, Charity Eno, Christiana Inyang, Esther Essien Asuquo, Patricia Augustine Okon, Aniedi Edet Udo and Rose Archibong.