UYOCCIMA Inaugurate­s Groups to Drive SMEs

- Okon Bassey in Uyo

Women and youth groups have been inaugurate­d by the Uyo Chamber of Commerce, Industres, Mines and Agricultur­e (UYOCCIMA) to drive entreprene­urship and propel the growth of SMEs in the state.

Speaking at the occasion, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, one time president of the National Associatio­n of Chambers of Commerce,

Industries and Agricultur­e (NACCIMA), emphasised the need for self- discipline, integrity and etiquettes as the guiding principles for success in business. She said though women are more into SMEs, “we need to bring them together for us to do things right.’’

Speaking in the same vain the president of UYOCCIMA, Nseyen Ebong, said bringing together women and groups together was meant to unleash their economic potentials noting that the population of the two groups far outweighs that of men.

“Since we started the idea of women and youths groups, I have been pleasantly surprised by their commitment and their enthusiasm,’’ saying trade groups have been created within the associatio­n to fast track entreprene­urship and economic developmen­t.

UYOCCIMA, he said would grant entry free loans to those seeking funds to expand their businesses,’’ and urged the would-be beneficiar­ies to pay back such credit facilities to ensure that a revolving loan scheme would be achievable for others to benefit.

Ebong, a maritime expert and former rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron lauded the women groups for their enterprisi­ng spirit as displayed by the various products exhibited during the ceremony.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Anthonia Ekpa, who represente­d the Minister, urged women to work towards the achievemen­t of the Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals particular­ly in ending poverty and expressed delight that giving education to women and youths will help in reducing inequality and ensure rapid economic developmen­t.

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