437 youths benefit from A’Ibom youth entrepreneurship programme

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By Samuel Ogenyi, Uyo

At least 437 youths drawn from the 31 local councils in Akwa Ibom have benefitted from an entrepreneurship programme designed to provide skills for youths in the state.

The commencement of My Entrepreneurship Goal Programme (MEGP), was announced by Governor Udom Emmanuel in response to the #EndSARS protest in the state.

Speaking on the commencement of the programme on Thursday in Uyo, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Marketing and Brand Management, Mr Ime Uwah said the first and second batches of the program had 187 participants, while the third would target 250 youths. 

Uwah explained that the programmes would not provide funding or start up capital for participants but budget based assistance like the registration of existing businesses, access to grants and payment for specific skills acquisition among others. 

He stated that MEGP was only for youths with existing businesses that is about two years old, adding that the process of registration and selection for the programme was transparent.

Uwah advised interested youths to apply online using the link provided, saying the programme which was done on quarterly basis was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He revealed that the proposed training for 3,000 youths in each of the three senatorial districts in the state per quarter was yet to commence, adding that the training is to be handled by the  Ministry of Trade and Investment.

“The Ibom three thousand have not started. Is with the ministry of trade and investment.

“What we do as the director, marketing and brand management is the eligibility programme. The entrepreneurship programme has started and we are in the second week now.

“My Entrepreneurship Gold Programme is targeting 250 participants. We did a pre-qualification interview. We look at people with existing businesses and also start up. By start up we mean a year to two years, not at ideation level. That’s what we look out for during the pre-qualification interview.

“The process is transparent and there’s a link online people can access; apply online and you’ll be called for the interview. During the interview, the things we look at for is to know that you’re in business and it has been there for a year or two.

“We pay to provide a specific skills accusation. Now is a basic entrepreneurial education. There’re some people that would want to go into creative art or ICT in case of web design, we have to pay for that specific skills that’s required.” Uwah said.

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