by crossriverwatch admin
For the second time running in 2012, Hon. Owan Eno, the third time member representing Etung/Obubra Federal Constituency of Cross River State in the House of Representatives splashed the sum of 22 million on members of his constituency to empower them to start or boost their businesses.
Hon. Owan Eno who handed the sum of N150, 000 (one hundred and fifty thousand naira) bank draft to one hundred and forty seven beneficiaries of his empowerment programme on Saturday at Ikom, said the money should not be spent frivolously as was the case with past beneficiaries but be invested in the businesses which they submitted proposals for before the sums were approved.
He said he deliberately delayed handing the drafts to them till after the Christmas festivities and “even now that you are receiving this draft the date you can cash the money is on the 20th of January 2013 this is after you have attended a training session on the 17th for those in Obubra and 18th for those in Etung to prepare you on how to properly invest the money”.
According to Hon. Enoh who is also the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, any of the beneficiaries who fail to attend the training session or does not show enough commitment during the training session would have his name replaced.
“My experience in the past shows that out of the number of those who benefit from my empowerment scheme, only a few persons really get down to investing the money properly that is why I have engaged the services of a consultant to handle the project this time”
Hon. Eno said the empowerment programme, which is an addition to his scholarship scheme, has been on since 2000 when he was a member of the Cross River State House of Assembly.
“In 2000 when I was in the House of Assembly, a community in Etung needed a pontoon to cross to the other side of the river and I provided that and since then the programme has only increased in size and scope by involving more communities and individuals and I hope to sustain this”.
He said he engaged the services of a consultant to find out what each of the individual beneficiaries need not just assuming that “these is what this person needs and then going to the market to buy the item and handover.
The Consultant has done well because he carried out a needs assessment to find out what each individual requires”.
The empowerment he said is a development strategy to ensure that every one who needs help is taken care of “some want to trade on banana, some want to open provision shops, while some want to farm and others to expand their existing businesses and I think the wish of every one would be addressed with this modest sum”.
Mr Larry Odey, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly who assisted in handing the drafts to some beneficiaries said, “no matter the contribution of a member to debates on the floor of the House, no matter how efficient a member is in initiating bills in the House, if he does not have any empowerment scheme, he is deemed not to have done well because empowerment scheme is the only means of reaching the people who really need government”.
Ntufam John Okon, the Chairman of PDP in the state said “if this gesture is replicated in every Senatorial district, in every federal Constituency, every local government council, every ward unit, then the state would develop very rapidly”.
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