-Unveils Economic Empowerment Programme
His Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, has announced the introduction of an economic empowerment programme by the Onitsha Community COVID-19 Response Team (OCCRT) as part of a strategy for medium to long term sustainable interventions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. According to His Majesty, ‘’ it has become clear that the global recession arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, will adversely affect Nigeria over the medium term, and there is need to plan for how this will affect our community’’. He added that ‘’the difficulties arising from the pandemic should be turned into an opportunity for lifting Onitsha out of poverty’’.
The economic empowerment programme is designed to change the mindset of Onitsha people from a welfare mentality to a more productive, and entrepreneurial mindset. It also aims to foster the adoption and support of wealth creation, and long-term capital development initiatives across existing organs of Onitsha community. Key aspects of the programme include Value Reorientation, Database Validation, Training and Development, Microfinance Bank, and MSME Funding. Others are Cooperative Society, Business Incubation, Mentorship, and Women Empowerment.
The economic empowerment programme has been conceptualised by a panel of Onitsha experts, who were charged by His Majesty, to map out strategies “to support the struggling and budding entrepreneurs in our domain in weathering the COVID-19 storm”. It builds on a 2017, project with the theme, “Take Onicha Ado N’Idu to the Next Level” which explored developmental and repositioning needs of the ancient community.
Ninety-seven persons from eight countries, including various parts of Nigeria, Africa, Europe, and the United States of America participated in the online town hallmeeting, which was held on Saturday, August 22, 2020. Besides discussing the economic empowerment programme, participants also focused attention on the implementation of the ongoing OCCRT activities. Areas covered include fundraising, palliatives distribution, medical outreach and response, and voluntary Covid-19 testing.
The online townhall meetings have been introduced to ensure that His Majesty interacts directly with ndi Onicha worldwide on the activities of the OCCRT. The maiden edition was held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.