The chairman of Okrika Local Government Area, WALGA, Barr. Tamuno Williams, has commended the Abam community in the LGA for setting up a co-operative scheme to empower the youths of the community.
Barr. Williams who witnessed the balloting of 10 motorbikes by the eight families that make up the Abam community on Friday, December 30, 2011 at Abam 1, said it was an emergence of a new era and that he has not seen such community effort for a very long time.
Ten motorbikes were purchased by the Abam Progressive Co-Operative Union, APCU, at a total cost of N880,000 and given out to Abam youths in form of hire purchase.
However, only a return of N48,000 within ten months would be made by each beneficiary before claiming full possession of the motorbike, which translates to the payment of N1,000 only per week.
The chairman who said he has already commenced the purchase of 12 taxis for his Okrika transport scheme, said the efforts of Abam community would serve as a model and reference point.
He promised to purchase another 10 motorbikes for the APCU, within four months, if the scheme is well-managed and proved successful.
He also used the opportunity to inform the people of Abam Ama that he would send engineers to assess the problem of flood in the community and commence measures to tackle it, within the first quarter of 2012.
Earlier in his address, the initiator of the programme and president of APCU, Barr Abiye Amakiri, said the motorcycle operatorship and ownership scheme, “is a youth empowerment scheme designed to inculcate in our youths a sense of commercial enterprise”.
He said it would afford a means of livelihood for the youths and instil self-discipline in them as they would be made to keep effective book-keeping to repay the loans.
Barr. Amakiri said the beneficiaries “will from this modest income be able to extend hands of assistance to other dependants within the community by solving little problems ranging from payment of school fees for nephews and nieces, buying of nets and repairs of canoes for uncles and fathers, buying of hand-outs for brothers and sisters in schools.”
“I challenge to see the first beneficiary to, out of the proceeds of this first motorcycle, buy a second one. That beneficiary shall get a prize from the APCU, “Barr Amakiri stated, as he informed the community that the project will extend to speed boats, taxis, buses, fish farming and others, with time.
The balloting for the motorbikes which was ably supervised by the chief of Abam community, Chief Sunday Bamson, among the eight families of Abam Ama, Dikisikiboka, Obona, Aku, Iruobipinamaika/KalaTamuno, Ikpaki, Igu, Ileya and Berebosoka families, produced Adolphus Abam, Tamunotekena Bamson, Tamuno-diepiriye Omu Abam, Ibinabo Abam, Tamuno-Imama G.Moses, Paul Godwin, Nelson Abam, Tamunoiyowuna Edward Bamson, as winners from the respective families.
Tamunopekerebia Edward won the ninth motorbike from general balloting while the tenth machine was reserved for the strangers living within the community.
Believe Abam, an elder of Abam community who dedicated the motorbikes to God, advised the winners to form a co-operative and have a single mechanic to avoid fake products. He said he was overwhelmed by the kind gesture of APCU and urged all the winners to ensure the success of the scheme.
Isaac Oriala Abam, the secretary of Abam Royal War Canoe House, also advised the beneficiaries to value the scheme, adding that it was better to give a net and a boat to a man than feeding him everyday.
Also present at the occasion were, the chairman of Abam House, elder Johnson O. Bamson, Sir. Allen Amakiri, who was the MC of the occasion, Elder Lewis Abam, elder David Benjamin, Elder Christian Bamson and several sons and daughters of the community. ###