In keeping with its promise to empower traders and young entrepreneurs in Rivers State, the state government has disbursed the first tranche of N200 million interest-free loans to 397 beneficiaries in 12 local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Onowu Chukwuemeka, who disclosed this over the weekend said the second batch of beneficiaries would receive disbursement at the end of this month.
The first 12 local government areas to benefit from the loan are Okrika, Ikwerre, Ahoada, Akuku-Toru, Andoni, Bonny, Obio/Akpor, Gokana, Khana, Omuma, ONELGA, and Oyigbo Local Government Areas.
He also noted that the second batch of beneficiaries will be published at the end of the month.
According to him, the loan would go a long way in empowering the financial strength of traders across the state.
He said that the loan would also make business people vibrant and young entrepreneurs that have not found their feet to develop.
He commended the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for embarking on the free loan programme to alleviate the plight of the people and create jobs in the state.
The commissioner urged beneficiaries to ensure proper utilisation of the funds to achieve maximum profit and grow their businesses for the economic development of the state.
See list of beneficiaries on Pages 16 and 17.
Meanwhile, a renewed call has gone to the people of Bille Kingdom in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State to continue to remain peaceful in order to attract more development projects to the area.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike made this call during the Bille Kingdom Development Summit 2019 in Port Harcourt, last Saturday.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Damiete Herbert Miller, the governor said that by being peaceful, the kingdom stands to gain a lot in terms of political patronage and infrastructural development like sand-filling and shore protection, amongst others.
He also advised the people to put their acts together and install a king to fast-track the development of the kingdom while attracting the necessary recognition of their stool.
Wike urged the people to ensure that security of lives and property was maintained, noting that they must collaborate with the government to ensure that the Bille Kingdom and its territories were free from pipeline vandals and illegal refining of petroleum products.
In her remarks, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who spoke through a former chairman of the Degema Local Government Area Caretaker Committee, Mrs. Okorite Carrie Adiele, urged the Bille Kingdom to give opportunity for government’s assistance in setting up a modular refinery through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, stressing that government would assist the kingdom to achieve the feat.
She, however, advocated that employment into the proposed modular refinery should be on 50:50 ratio, where 50% would cover the Bille interest.
The Vice Chairman of the Bille Kingdom Chiefs’ Council, Alabo Ibitamino Minapakama, who said the Bille Kingdom had suffered gross marginalization and utter neglect over the years, however, commended the governor under whose watch sons and daughters of Bille have attained positions of influence in government.