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N1.5 Billion Free Food Programme and Interest-Free Loans: Akwa Ibom State Governor Intervenes to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty

N1.5 Billion Free Food Programme and Interest-Free Loans: Akwa Ibom State Governor Intervenes to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, has initiated a free food programme and access voucher for vulnerable people in the state. The governor flagged off the programme during a ceremony held at the renowned Itam International market, situated in Itu Local Government Area.

As part of the comprehensive intervention, Governor Umo Eno also announced the provision of an interest-free loan wallet totaling N1.5 billion for traders and business owners across the state. This loan facility, distributed across the three Senatorial Districts of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, and Eket, will be managed by the FADAMA Micro Finance Bank.

The launch of the free food voucher programme aligns with the Bulk Purchases Agency (BPA) Bill recently signed into law by the governor. The agency, whose board was inaugurated by Governor Umo Eno, is tasked with swiftly addressing food price fluctuations in the state by providing staple food items such as garri, rice, and beans to the most vulnerable through the Social Register (SR).

Explaining the rationale behind the intervention, Governor Umo Eno emphasized the need to alleviate the sufferings of the people during these challenging times. He underscored the importance of partnering with market leaders and appreciated their cooperation in implementing the programme.

Addressing the issue of high-interest loans affecting traders and business owners, the governor urged them to refrain from obtaining such loans, which often lead to inflated food prices and financial burdens. To support businesses and boost economic activities, Governor Umo Eno announced the release of N500 million interest-free loans to each of the three senatorial districts, totaling N1.5 billion.

In addition to the financial assistance, the governor pledged to address infrastructural needs identified by the leadership of the Itam Market. Plans include the construction of a car park, provision of solar panel lights, and modern toilet facilities, all aimed at enhancing the market environment and facilitating trade activities.

Governor Umo Eno further directed the Transition Chairmen of the remaining 29 councils, excluding Itu and Uyo Local Government Areas, to launch the free voucher food programme in their respective areas. This directive underscores the commitment of the state government to extend the benefits of the intervention to vulnerable populations across Akwa Ibom State.

The initiative by Governor Umo Eno reflects the proactive efforts of the state government to address the socio-economic challenges faced by its citizens. By providing essential support to vulnerable groups and promoting economic empowerment through interest-free loans, the government aims to mitigate the impact of food insecurity and poverty in Akwa Ibom State.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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