PROTEST OVER DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF LOAN TO SEEDC TRAINEES IN ENUGU NORTH

PROTEST OVER DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF LOAN TO SEEDC TRAINEES IN ENUGU NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT.

On Monday 24 September 2018, the Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial District, Senator Chukwuka Utazi addressed a press conference on the true position on the Enugu North Senatorial District Graduate Entrepreneurship Program at Adada Hall, GRA Nsukka. In attendance were over 500 Graduate Trainees of SEEDC. Thereafter, a protest match led by the Senator crisscrossed the length and breadth of the GRA area. Some of the Trainees were interviewed, chief amongst them were the two Trainees that attended one of the series of interactive sessions involving the CBN, SEEDC, Sterling Bank and the office of the Senator at the CBN headquarters Abuja – Ugochukwu Asadu and Sunday Obeta.

In the press conference, Senator Utazi recalled how he perceived the grim challenge of graduate unemployment and made it one of the cardinal points of his campaign in 2015. Thus, upon assumption of office, he visited the six LGAs in Enugu North Senatorial District preaching the gospel of self employment through entrepreneurship. After the tour, about 5000 persons indicated interest, though a little over 1500 finally registered for the program in two batches with a non refundable deposit of N5,000 into CBN’s account with Zenith Bank. With the data collated at his constituency office, he approached the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who commended him for his great interest in empowering the young graduates of his constituency and quickly directed him to the South East Entrepreneurship Development Center in Umuahia under the headship of Dr Osita Aniemeka.

At great personal cost, the SEEDC based in Umuahia had to open a mobile training center at Adada Hall so that his constituents wouldn’t have to travel to Umuahia to be trained. After a three months rigorous training which included lectures, internship, business plan writing, registration of business name/company, opening of account with Sterling Bank, deposit of original certificate of Trainees and handover of postdated cheques since 2017, nothing has been forthcoming.

He enumerated several interfaces since then in the course of actualizing the final stage of the program. Then on 24 May 2018, a meeting held at the CBN headquarters Abuja and the following were in attendance: himself, Sterling Bank, SEEDC, Trainees represented by Ugochukwu Asadu and Sunday Obeta. At the meeting, CBN chastised Sterling Bank on a number of issues and directed that about 96 successful Trainees (YEDP) be granted the loan in the first phase.

While acknowledging that the program has not moved with the speed he expected, he assured the Graduate Trainees that he must see to the end of this matter. He reiterated his resolve to bring the attention of the world to the ill treatment being meted to his people. He promised to seek the attention of the Nigerian Senate upon resumption of plenary. He decried a situation where political adversaries are cashing in on this hiccups to malign him on the social media. He appealed for restraint and patience as the fireworks for redress goes on. Upon request by Chief Ogara Harrison that he stands as a witness in the litigation about to be filed shortly, he accepted wholeheartedly to appear in Court whenever needed.

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