Like the Oliver Twist, traders traders in Akwa ibom State who are full of praises for Governor Udom Emmanuel, are praying the governor for more loans to enable them expand their businesses.
While expressing deep gratitude to Governor Udom for a N2billion interest free loan given to them under trader’s cooperative societies to expand their trading activities, the said the state economy stands to benefit more with more of such credit facilities.
The traders while counting their blessings under Governor Udom Emmanuel also cited the nine newly constructed markets spread across nine local government areas of the state within the last six years.
Speaking on behalf of the traders on the occasion of Nigerian Traders Summit and Trade Exposition held Saturday at Itam Market Uyo Akwa ibom , the Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters Akparawa Idoreyin Raphael said,
”The benefits our traders have derived from government are many and varied. Permit me to mention here that some of our traders have received processing equipment to produce and package their products for sales with attendant good profit.
”This traders summit is aimed at bringing our traders together to evaluate our position and rub minds together on the way forward for greater business opportunities”.
Raphael explained that the tour of the various senatorial districts embarked by the traders have exposed them to better business opportunities in areas of exchange of ideas, location of certain products with comparative advantage on cost and needs among others.
He expressed happiness that with the calibre of resource persons that graced the Summit stressing that traders have learnt so much to equip themselves to excel.
”This Summit has been packaged to recognise excellence, we have Akwa ibom sons and daughters who are competing with great business moguls in the country, ” he intoned.
However, Idoreyin Raphael used the occasion to passionately appeal to Governor Udom Emmanuel to release another batch of interest free loan to help cushion the effects of Covid-19 losses incurred by traders.
He suggested the creation of a desk office in all council areas, appoint supervisors on trade matters in each council and creation of the office of Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Trade and market matters to give room for the creation of three offices of Special Assistants to play supervisory role in the three senatorial districts of the state.
In a keynote address, Asuquo Jonah President Akwa Ibom state Cooperative Federation, who spoke on the theme ” Growing an Inclusive economy, the Cooperative way” explained that the role of cooperatives in economic development are community based rooted in democracy flexible and have participatory involvement which makes it suited for economic development.
According to him, ” The process of developing and sustaining a cooperative involves the same process of developing and promoting community spirit, identity and social organisation.
”Cooperatives play an increasingly important role in poverty reduction, job creation, economic growth and social development” he highlighted.