Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has flagged off the repackaged second phase of the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme, launched last year to assist traders in the state grow their various businesses for socio-economic development and expansion.
Flagging off the re-launched scheme at Ogbede Market, Igbo Etiti Local Government Area, he explained that the second phase will cost the government the sum of N120 million against the initial N60 million, with the number of beneficiaries rising from 100 to 200 per month at the same rate of N50,000 per beneficiary.
The governor added that the number of participating markets has also been increased from 37 to 54 to give more traders especially those in the rural areas, the chance to participate.
He disclosed that the draws took place simultaneously in all the 54 participating markets using customised raffle tickets distributed only to traders who were present in the markets, adding that the decision was â€œto ensure that only genuine traders who are present and participating in the draws will have the opportunity to winâ€.
Ugwuanyi also told the enthusiastic traders and other participants, who came out in their numbers, that â€œfollowing the successful prosecution of the first phase, government decided to introduce an improved and modified version of the scheme that would accommodate more beneficiaries and also extend the scheme to more markets in the stateâ€.
Reiterating his administrationâ€™s unwavering commitment to improving the standards of living of the people of Enugu State and ensuring that opportunities for growth and rapid development are extended to every corner and to every class of people in the state, the governor thanked the traders and market associations for â€œtheir cooperation and enthusiastic participation in the scheme and also for their continued support for our administrationâ€.
He said: â€œToday marks a new beginning in our quest to empower traders resident in Enugu State to grow their trades and improve their businesses, irrespective of their states of origin and religious or ethnic backgrounds.
â€œWe are here to launch the second phase of the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme that was designed to empower market traders in the state through a monthly open lottery draw.
â€œThe lucky winners each go home with the sum of N50,000 which they are expected to reinvest into their various businesses and help promote all round economic growth in the State.
â€œFinally, as we go about our daily activities, let us remain assured that Enugu State is in the hands of God. In all we do, we give Him due glory, honour and adorationâ€.
Other dignitaries at the event include: Member representing Igbo Etiti/ Uzo Uwani Federal Constituency, Hon. Princess Stella Ngwu; the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Chief Okechukwu Itanyi; State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Sam Ogbu Nwobodo and other exco members; Igbo Etiti LGA Chairman, Hon. Malachy Agbo; Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu; Director-General, South-east Governorsâ€™ Forum, Prof. Simeon Ortuanya, among others.