One hundred million naira has been disbursed as start-up funds to Abia State graduates under the South East Entrepreneurship Empowerment Development Programme organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, in partnership with the Abia State government in Umuahia. Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State said the state government would continue to explore avenues of enhancing the capacity of youths to contribute meaningfully to the economic well being of the country.
Governor Ikpeazu noted that entrepreneurship, small and medium enterprises were key to the economic prosperity of the nation. The governor charged beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the funds and commended the CBN for the initiative. In a speech, a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Mr. Camerlius Ogbuagu, said the programme was designed to achieve rapid sustainable economic development, tackle poverty and unemployment among youths.
Mr. Ogbuagu explained that graduates of tertiary institutions, secondary school leavers, and owners of existing businesses were among the target groups for the programme. Also, the Chairman Technical Committee for the scheme, Mrs. Nnenna Chikezie, said the fund disbursement was made possible through the payment of counterpart fund by the state government, noting that the intervention would boost entrepreneurship and Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
Some of the beneficiaries of the programme, including Mrs. Merit Ihezue and Mr. Dennis Anokwuru, said the funds would positively impact on their businesses. Over one thousand people participated in the three months programme.