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SmileUyo, a pet project of Mrs. Joyful Uwem Eyo, wife of the Member Representing Uyo State Constituency, Hon. Monday Eyo (Murray), has been hailed by Akwa Ibomites at home and in the Diaspora as a timely intervention programme which has lived up to its expectation of promoting entrepreneurship, business growth, creating better business environments, and empowering Akwa Ibom women to become sources of development in their communities.

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These remarks were made during the kick-off of a 4-day training programme for women in different entrepreneurship skills at the Multipurpose Hall of Uyo Local Government Council. Addressing the women at the opening ceremony, Mrs. Uwem Joyful Eyo said women are the building blocks of Akwa Ibom economic development and that they hold dynamic and valuable characteristics which are an asset to the business terrain.

She further stated that women control the majority of the purchasing decisions in the household and this means they have greater influence in the market and ultimately the economy. She added that there is a dire the need for more entrepreneurship training and opportunities for Akwa Ibom women.

Mrs. Joyful Eyo lauded the Governor’s wife Mrs. Martha Emmanuel for working together with Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensure that women are the first set of beneficiaries of the interest-free Micro Small Medium Enterprises Loan Scheme. This she said, goes further to show Governor Emmanuel’s passion to bring transformation and empowerment to Akwa Ibom people.

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Mrs. Eyo noted that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s giant strides in just four months in office are unprecedented and they demonstrate in clear terms what is to come in the next eight years, urging participants of the training programme work harder and continue to pray for progress and development that would enable Akwa Ibom rise to its full greatness.

Mrs. Eyo further tasked the women to imbibe the “Dakkada” spirit by being resourceful and innovative in order to support their families while canvassing for the revival of family values to curb societal ills.

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The project managers PurplePatch Consults revealed through their Sustainable Development Consultant Mmanti Umoh that the project is poised to raise the statistics of empowered female entrepreneurs who contribute to the quota of women developing Nigeria further reducing the statistics of poor Africans, and that at the end of the training, each participant will be required to train two young people from their communities before they will be able to have access to seed loans to startup their businesses. This she said, will encourage knowledge transfer and the creation of more opportunities for women.

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Present at the opening ceremony were Mrs. Uduak Onofiok Luke, Mrs. Inemesit Enobong Uwah, Mrs. Blessing Monday Ebong Uko and other eminent personalities. Over one hundred and fifty women from Uyo State Constituency are currently on training in various entrepreneurial skills ranging from Hair Dressing, Shoe Making, Baking, Beads Making, Soap making, Event Management Skills, Catering, Make-up Artistry and Interior Decoration.

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