Two thousand, seven hundred and ninety Akwa Ibom indigenes are to benefit from the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) of the Federal Government, Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Radda, has said.
The director general, who spoke yesterday in Uyo while launching the scheme for micro enterprises, said the Federal Government’s initiative was aimed at enhancing job creation, wealth and poverty alleviation.
He said 90 beneficiaries had been selected across the 31 councils, and they will each get N50,000.
Radda said the pilot phase was being conducted in six states; Katsina, Gombe, Ebonyi, Oyo, Benue and Akwa Ibom.
“The present initiative looks to promoting the activities of micro enterprises across the country in the areas of capacity building and delivery of post-intervention support services, such as access to finance, markets, workspace and technology.
“It improves the internally generated revenue of the three tiers of government across the country, thereby reducing over dependence on oil,” Radda said.
He said beneficiaries were selected based on their ability to own a business with progressive economic potential and strong desire to grow same.
Radda said SMEDAN would provide beneficiaries with training to equip them on business management.
He said: “In order to make sure that the objectives of the programme are achieved and the impact guaranteed, a well- structured business mentoring and monitoring mechanism have been put in place.
“The mentoring procedure will be such that will provide assistance for participants on how to set up their books, how to attract and retain customers, source for raw materials, ways to improve their products and services.”
The director-general urged beneficiaries to make use of the grant to add value to themselves and improve the state.
Economic Development Commissioner Mr. Idoreinyin Udo hailed the Federal Government and SMEDAN for selecting Akwa Ibom in the pilot phase of the scheme.
He said the state had provided an enabling environment for investment to thrive.
Udo advised beneficiaries to show good examples by making use of the grant to attract more Federal Government opportunities to the state.