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Eno announces N1.5bn for traders, appoints 79 SAs, provides 368 mobile tablets to monitor free food programme

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has flagged off the Food Security Programme of the State Bulk Purchase Agency with the presentation of food vouchers to vulnerable members of the society.

The Governor also released 368 Android Tablets pre-loaded with electronic versions of the Social Register per ward to drive the Free Food scheme in a transparent and accountable manner.

He also appointed 3 Senior Special Assistants per Senatorial Districts and 10 Special Special Assistants per Federal Constituencies, to support and monitor the food programme.

Governor Umo further announced N1.5 billion interest-free fund to support traders in the three Senatorial Districts of the State.

He pronounced the take-off of farmers with swags initiative for students as part of the back-to-farm initiative.

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He said farming remains the known route to food availability and price stability.

More insight

The free food voucher for the vulnerable is a key element of the Bulk Agency Bill that was signed into law a week ago, and the Board, equally inaugurated by the Governor, last week.

Eno announces N1.5bn for traders, appoints 79 SAs, provides 368 mobile tablets to monitor free food programme

The key responsibility of the Agency is to provide free staple food items like garri, rice and beans to the most vulnerable through the Social Register.

Speaking while flagging off the programme at Itam Market, Uyo, on Tuesday, Governor Eno said, “We had reviewed all of the options, and this for us, remains the best. We are partnering with the market leaders and I want to thank them for the cooperation we have so far received from them.

“Let me repeat here that this is purely an interventionist act; the solution to our food security remains the need for us to go back to the farm. Yesterday, I paid an unannounced visit to a farm run by one of your young men and I was so impressed with what the young man is doing and we pledge to support him. I will continue to pay visits to farms run by both people in government and others.”

The highlight of the day’s event was the announcement by the Governor of a 1.5 billion interest free-loans to Akwa Ibom traders to be managed by the Ibom Fadama Micro Finance Bank.

“I have heard of how some of you go to some places to get loans with very high interest rates and that has made the cost of food go up, and before you finish paying the loans, you cannot meet up with your market or trading obligations anymore.

“I have come to tell you not to take such loans anymore. Consequently, we are releasing five hundred million Naira interest-free loans to each of the three senatorial districts (1.5 billion Naira in total) to help your business,” he said.

The Governor also promised to construct a car park, provide solar panel lights, and modern toilet facilities, all of which were the prayers of the leadership of the Itam Market.

The Governor directed the Transition Chairmen of the remaining 29 councils (Itu and Uyo Local Government Councils, having been covered by the launch) to ensure they launch the free voucher food programme by next week Tuesday.

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Joe Udo
Joe Udo
Joe Udo is a creative writer and a Blogger with several years of experience.

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