Local Government

35 Constituents Benefit From Ukpong-Udo's N20m Business Empowerment Grants

Atotal of N20 million was disbursed to 35 beneficiaries across six wards of Ini/Ikono Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State. The package is on the heels of the fourth round of the N100 million business empowerment initiative by the member representing Ikono/Ini in the House of Representatives, Obong Emmanuel Ukpongudo. During the disbursement held at the weekend, Wards 3, 9 and 10 of Ini and Wards 1, 2 and 4 of Ikono Local Government Areas benefited from the N20 million largess. Under the Macaire Enterprise Development Scheme, 19 constituents from Ikono and 16 from Ini received cash ranging between N500,000) and N1,000,000 to develop their businesses, while two others smiled home with a car and a motorcycle. Apostle Silas Ukata in his welcome address at Itu Mbonuso Ward 3, thanked the member for being a promise keeper and for bringing good tidings to the people. He described his gesture and magnanimity as a pleasant surprise to some people, adding that the member had set a positive precedence for assessment of future representatives. In his address to the people, the member representing Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-udo, stated that his business empowerment initiative would be in three phases while reiterating that he had earmarked a non-refundable N100 million grant for distribution in 2020. He expressed his commitment to seeing it through even earlier than planned due to the exigencies of the pandemic period. He stated that the peoplecentered gesture was under six active months of representation as the other six months were overtaken by recess in the house and lockdown restrictions. Ukpong-udo thanked elders of the various wards for cooperating with him but frowned at the attitude of some who insisted on being empowered at the expense of others describing such as the height of selfishness as representation was for all. The federal legislator advised leaders to cultivate the culture of regularly empowering the people as that was the true essence of representation, rather than wait for election time. He briefed his constituents on some of his life-touching empowerment initiatives, the latest of which is the "UMartha Ambassadors Scheme targeted at providing an alternative source of income to 200 of his constituents monthly, summing up to N48 million annually. At Ward 4 in Ikono LGA, the member launched the third part of his empowerment which he disclosed was aimed at welcoming and maintaining the new ward executive of the ward as a show of support and solidarity to them. Across the wards visited, various speakers in their goodwill messages lauded the member for following the good footsteps of his father and urged him to remain resolute in his pursuit of the common good of the constituency and not be deterred or distracted by naysayers. His gesture they maintained was unprecedented in the constituency while urging the beneficiaries to maximally utilise the resources at their disposal. They sued for patience from those yet to benefit as more persons stood a chance of feeling the lawmaker's touch in the course of his tenure. The highly elated beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the member for turning around their fortunes and reassured him of their continuous support and solidarity. At Ukwok Ward 9 and 10, the member gave a car and motorcycle to two of his constituents in fulfilment of an earlier promise he made to them. So far, 14 wards out of the 21 wards of the constituency have been visited with 7 wards to go.

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