…As Speaker canvasses support for small scale entrepreneurs
In line with the commitment of the state legislature to enhance the wellbeing of the citizenry, a private bill that seeks to ensure affordable housing delivery for workers in the state will soon be introduced on the floor of the House.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke dropped the hint, Friday when he played host to the new management team of the state owned mortgage finance institution, Akwa Savings and Loans Ltd. He said the bill which will be called, ‘Social Housing Scheme bill’, is sponsored by him and has some other members the House as co-sponsor.
Barr. Luke explained that the bill will enable Akwa Ibom civil servants to benefit from affordable housing, saying he has observed with concern that the greater part of challenges that civil servants in the state were passing through was their inability to access affordable housing.
He expressed optimism that when the bill is eventually passed, it would go a long way to ease the housing problem for workers, saying “I believe that if you settle housing, you would have settled a greater part of challenges that the civil servants encounter in their daily lives.”
Congratulating the new board and management of the bank on their appointment, the Speaker stated the preparedness of the legislature to give the bank the necessary backing to enable it attains its set goals and objective.
He frowned at a situation where debtors to the bank reneged in their obligation by failing to repay their loan.
He called on the debtors to pay back their loan, and pledged the support of the House towards the loan recovery exercise.
“Some of them are primary school teachers some of their money are their entitlement, so imagine you sitting on money that is some body’s emolument. The debtors must realize that for the bank to grow, they must service their debts for the bank to be able to meet its financial obligations. We have those who are growing small businesses here. They have good business plan, your bank has to be able to support them to grow their businesses. Shoprite is coming into town, the Four-Point by Sheraton in Ikot Ekpene has not started yet, when it starts, they are going to buy Okoro, tomatoes and chicken to service the catering needs of their customers so your bank must be able to accommodate those small businesses.”
The Speaker advised the bank management to evolve strategies that would support small scale entrepreneurs in the state, emphasizing that with the ongoing efforts by the state government to industrialize the state, it has become pertinent to protect and encourage the small scale entrepreneurs to grow.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Ebong Bassey thanked the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly for the support given to the new board management of the bank.
He said the bank was in the Assembly to seek further legislative support and partnership in their drive to reposition the bank for greater service delivery.
Present during the visit were, the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, Company Secretary of the bank, Mr. Abasiama Idiong, Head, Human Resources and Administration, Mr. Oliver Ernest, Head of Mortgage and Estate Services, Idongesit Udo, Mrs. Bassey Mbre and Helen Ekwere.