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Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Thursday, empowered 10 former members of the state executive council with N5 million each.

Umahi, who presented cheques to the beneficiaries in Abakaliki, also empowered 30 citizens of the state with N1.5 million each to start various business ventures.

The governor said that the gesture was in fulfillment of his promise to assist those who would not be reappointed into various political positions.

“The beneficiaries should use the funds to construct their buildings on the land allotted to them at the Ochoudo Centenary City, Abakaliki.

“The funds will be recovered if they don’t commence construction of the buildings within six months,” he said.

He directed the state ministry of human capital development to monitor the progress of such construction and give him monthly reports.

“I cannot re-appoint everybody into the state executive council and I have discovered that our people like receiving bank payment alerts without working for it.

“We discovered that the size of the executive council was unhealthy and we are determined to reduce it for greater efficiency.

“People did not take their portfolios seriously, but we would continue assisting those who were not re-appointed, among other stakeholders,” he said.

Umahi also declared that the empowerment of 30 citizens of the state was not free and should therefore be utilised effectively.

“The Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner for Human Capital Development must produce the affidavits signed by the beneficiaries.

“The beneficiaries must show evidences of their business investment within six months and if they are not encouraging, we would recover the funds,” he said.

Mrs Ann Aligwe, Commissioner for Human Capital Development said that the governor had also released palliatives for victims of the Ezza, Ezza-Effium intra-communal conflict.

Mr. Chika Nwangele, former Special Assistant to the Governor on Internal Security, (Ebonyi South) zone, thanked the governor for the gesture and pledged to judiciously utilise the funds.

The governor also swore in new commissioners and other aides during the occasion. (NAN)

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