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AKSG Target Petty Traders, Rural Communities Under AK-CARES Rural Intervention Scheme – Mr. Martins Umoh

Idongesit Inyang

The Acting General Manager of Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, Mr. Martins Umoh, says the agency is implementing a systematic programme of action to make life meaningful for the rural people in line with the A.R.I.S.E. agenda of Governor Umo Eno.

Mr. Umoh explained that the government of Governor Eno, being a people-friendly administration, is committed to impacting communities under the AK-CARES initiatives and other development templates captured in his economic blueprint.

Speaking on a radio programme with Arise Akwa Ibom on Passion 94.5 FM Friday morning, the acting GM explained that the agency is a statutory agency supervised by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Accordingly, 13 communities spread across the 10 federal constituencies are receiving N18 million (eighteen million naira) to construct two (2) microprojects under the three (3) areas of government intervention, which are education, health, and water/sanitation.

Concerning the Agency’s role in the AK-CARES programme, Mr Umoh said Governor Umo Εno as a people-oriented governor who feels the yearnings and plights of his people, understood the adverse effect of the COVID-19 on the petty traders and communities and thought it wise to empower the poor and vulnerable by giving out grants to boost their businesses and make life more meaningful to the people again.

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According to him, the agency is one of the five (5) delivery platforms implementing AK-CARES projects in the state under the Disbursement Links Indicators (DLI 1.3 & 1.4), respectively.

“DLI 1.3 is livelihood support for economically active households that trade in petty businesses like frying of akara, barbing, tailoring, bread/groundnuts, and fruit sellers.

“About 1055 people will be empowered in this second phase with N150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand naira) against the 353 people that were given N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira) each in the first phase of the programme,” he said.

When asked how the people were selected, he said the target beneficiaries were selected from the State Safety Net Register (SSR), which they only had to write and request for a particular number, and the list of people was sent to them. He advised the vulnerable to get enlisted in the social register for such empowerment.

Talking about Disbursement Link indicators (DLI 1.4), he said this was the community and group basic investment infrastructure services, adding that for a community to benefit from it, they must first register with the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development and then use that to express their interest through the Agency.

Maintaining that after prioritising the needs of the community based on their expression of interest, the people are sensitised, transient work is carried out, and they are thereafter trained on how to use the money judiciously to achieve the desired aim of the programme.

He assured the people and communities who have gone through the required process and are yet to be enrolled in any DLIs to exercise patience as they might be captured in another phase of the programme or a different programme entirely.

Highlighting further, he disclosed that the Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development was established by the law of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on January 1, 2009, to coordinate and facilitate community-driven development for the well-being of the people.

He said since the agency came on board in 2010, they have intervened in 175 communities across the state with about 450 microprojects covering various sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, transport, electricity, environmental and natural resources, and socio-economic at the output level.

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