- It’s smiles galore in Yobe North
BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI, ABUJA – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says his strategic and massive empowerment programme in Yobe North Senatorial District aims at setting up and supporting Yobe youths in productive entrepreneurship activities.
He also restated his pledge to pay tuition fees for 2000 new entrants into tertiary institutions in the current academic session.
Senator Lawan spoke during the empowerment programme launch at his country home of Gashua, witnessed by the State Governor, Mai Mala Buni and his predecessor, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam.
The Senate President, who justified the constituency initiatives, said; “This part of the country is one of the poorest part of Nigeria,” adding; “Our people need a lot of attention and those of us who are being elected to represent you, we will not let you down.
“The purpose of this event is to empower the people of Yobe North particularly the youths and we believe that they need this kind of empowerment programme because we have so many people who are challenged, who have no jobs, who have no businesses, or lost there jobs somehow because of certain situation.”
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President said; “when we give Sharon buses to our constituents, it is to help them with something to live on and also to facilitate transportation in the zone. When we give tricycles or Keke NAPEP, it is to ensure that somebody has something to do and earns a living.
“And we have done so much to facilitate irrigation activities in this zone because we have a very big and massive flood plane. When we are going to give one thousand water pumps for irrigation activities, that will catapult our capacity to irrigate in this part of the country. And it will give a lot of opportunities for our youth particularly and create wealth.
“So we are doing this to ensure that we empower our people. We reduce the pains of poverty. We encourage wealth creation.
“And for our women, we are giving them deep freezers and fridges, sewing machines and other things that we help them doing something. Even from their houses, do something that will earn something for them and we believe that it will make lives better for them.”
Admitting that he wishes to do much more for his constituents, Senator Lawan said; “We intend to continue with this kind of programme to ensure that our people benefit immensely.”
In his remarks, Governor Buni lauded the Senate President’s initiative, describing it as complementary to the state government’s efforts
“This is actually to complement the efforts of the State government. We cannot employ all the youths but we can only empower them through such programmes,” he said.
Both Governor Buni and former Governor Gaidam urged the beneficiaries to shun temptation of selling off the items, but ⁴utilise them so that they can be self reliant.
Governor Buni performed the ceremonial cutting of tape to unveil the empowerment and entrepreneurship materials that included 34 commercial buses to support drivers; Four ambulances for health institutions in four Local Government Areas; 1000 irrigation pumping machines; and a total sum of N87 million in grants for 350 beneficiaries expected to receive N250,000 each to start off some trading activities.
Others are Grail grounding machines; Vulcanising machines; Sewing machines; Tricyle Machines; Laptops and Desktop computers; Printers; Transformers; and Agrochemical sprayers.
Also on the list were Deep freezers; Bags of fertilizer; Electricity generators for Barber’s shops; and Customised books for primary and secondary schools.
Last year, Senator Lawan flagged off free medical outreach for his constituency with some critical health issues and massive free livestock vaccination in Yobe North.