Don't pay a dime to secure any grant, Umahi advises Ebonyians


By Victor Nwegede

Governor David Umahi has cautioned Ebonyi people especially the youths against paying any dime to secure grants while steering the leadership of Ebonyi State.

Umahi in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Francis Nwaze, disclosed his attention been drawn to extortion and scrambling for inclusion in the N2.6bn youth empowerment programme approved recently by his administration; where some beguiling elements have allegedly started urging unsuspecting members of the public to pay a certain amount of money to qualify for the grant aimed at getting Ebonyi youths sound economic footing. 

"Please, be guided, don't pay a dime to anyone to secure the grant.  Don't risk yourself. And don't waste the little in your possession",  Umahi cautioned in the statement.

The governor has also ordered security agents to arrest and prosecute anyone operating on the cloak of empowerment agent to capture and disburse the N2.6 billion promised for the youths in the state.

"Security agents are by this announcement alerted to arrest and prosecute anyone operating on the cloak of empowerment agent of the state as no one is appointed by Ebonyi State Government to collect any money from applicants.

"Government cannot in any way be extorting same people it's set to empower", it added.

The statement which also described Governor Umahi as a youth-friendly, noted that the governor has initiated various youth-centered programmes including appointments of over 80% of youths into his cabinet without anyone hoodwinking others.

"Since 2015 the Divine Mandate Administration was birthed in the state, Governor Umahi has always, through Divine direction, put in place, effective target mechanism to eliminate potential loopholes and leakages in all the phases of empowerment. 

"His Excellency who has gained mastery of the structure of youths responded timely to their yearnings by approving 2.6bn for them to stay afloat economically...

"As a promise keeper and fulfiller, the Governor has directed that the disbursement of the said fund will be spread across the 13 Council Areas of the state and a detailed modality, criteria and categories of beneficiaries are being developed and will be communicated to the general public by this November,"  the statement noted. 

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