By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – IN a bid to empower her members to cushion the effect of economic hardship in the country, the Mbutu Mbaise Peoples Assembly, MMPA, Saturday in Abuja, flagged off the maiden edition of her loan scheme to indigent members.

The empowerment/loan scheme attracted dignitaries which included the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who is an indigene of the community, the member representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency, Bede Ekeh as well as government functionaries.

Speaking in his address, Chairman of MMPA, Abuja, Sir Ulonna Njoku, explained that the loan scheme was set up with the spirit of love and oneness for the economic emancipation of members.

He said, “Today, we are celebrating oneness and spirit of onyeaghalanwanneya, anchored on fraternal love and unity with our earnest expectations towards progress and economic emancipation of our members.

“We are promoting our culture, our Community development and above all empowerment of our members, though not with the funfair expected for an association that is over 30 years in the FCT.

“We are constrained and compelled by the present economic situation in the country to think outside the box on how best we can help ourselves despite the daunting challenges of our times.”

He explained that the scheme was conceived primarily with the main objective of poverty reduction among their people.

“Sadly to note that about 70% of our members are either unemployed or underemployed. Many were laid off as the economic downturn forced the major construction companies to close shop; yet, they have mouths to feed, school fees to pay and hospital bills to settle with no means of income.

“The option of going back to the village with bare hands may not be the best in the prevailing circumstances. With the Empowerment scheme, we are targeting to build a revolving fund from where our members can borrow to start business or expand existing ones while being guided and monitored by financial and business incubation experts.”

He said that floating of the scheme was”to stand together as one to assure our members that this Assembly is also about them and their welfare. That spirit with which we have caused positive changes in our land even when most times with little or nothing is what has brought about this initiative.”

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