ECEWS TARGETS POVERTY REDUCTION
—-empowers 25 market women in Abak
Not less than 25 Ultra-poor market women in Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State received grants of ₦20,000 each from the ECEWS Market Women Empowerment Project to expand their businesses.
The project which is aimed at reducing poverty among indigent women in Akwa Ibom Communities is sponsored by Nka Uforo Iban Akwa Ibom State, USA.
During the grant disbursement ceremony on Thursday 26th November, 2015 at Abak Local Government Council Hall, Executive Director, ECEWS, Mr. Andy Eyo said that this year, the project was targeted at Abak market women and was sequel to that implemented in Uyo main market last year.
Eyo urged the women to view the money as loan (although being grants), with the ideology that they will have to make refunds as this will enable them to invest the money strictly in their businesses for if they saw it as what it is, Grants, they may be tempted to expend it on frivolities.
While thanking the Market Women Association for working closely and co-operating with ECEWS team during the selection process, he mentioned that a sum of ₦50,000 would be donated to the association to enable them enforce compliance by the beneficiaries as well as strengthen the market association.
Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom State, represented by his Director of Administration, Mrs. Ekaette Ekanem, expressed gratitude for an unbiased selection process and urged other NGOs to take a cue from the poverty reduction initiative by improving the lives of the less privileged in the society. “Let me commend the organizers and sponsors of this event as it marks a clear departure from the past where investible funds and grants used to be the exclusive preserve of the well-connected in the society.”
Mr. Ekpo advised the indigent market women to complete the process by investing the money wisely. “I wish to therefore request that the 25 beneficiaries of today’s grant in Abak should see this initiative as the lifeline and ensure that they fully maximize the benefits of this facility in order to help reduce rural poverty against our people.”
Abak Local Government transition chairman, Hon. Emmanuel Udosen appreciated the good works of ECEWS in Abak and solicited for more of its programmes to be implemented in Abak. He however advised the beneficiaries to make wise use of the money. “Don’t use the money to celebrate Christmas; what ECEWS has given you is seed money, invest it wisely. If you used to sell half bag of crayfish, buy full bag now. Don’t see the money that you have been given as fish, but see it as a net to use and trap the fish,” he said.
Our past beneficiary in Uyo Main Market was present and she had a piece of advice for the present beneficiaries. “When ECEWS came to Akpan Andem Market, we all thought they are 419 but we later discovered that they were real. I used to sell Editan and Afang leaves but when I received the money, I added palm fruits and palm oil. I discovered that I still had some money left with me so I added snails. Prior to receiving the money I used to buy from within the market and sell but now I can travel out and buy my goods in bulk and sell with much profit. I encourage all of you to use the money to expand your business.”
A beneficiary, Mma Akpan, a kolanuts seller says, “I am very happy, I pray that God continues to bless them. I will use this money to go to the market, buy palm fruits and start producing palm oil in addition to kolanuts.”
Another beneficiary, Mercy, a periwinkle seller has this to say, “I am very happy, this is the first time I am experiencing this level of kindness, I will use this money to buy periwinkle in bags rather than buy in retail.”