The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, has commissioned and distributed 170 petro-powered generators and 170 grinding machines as empowerment materials to women and youths in Akure, Ondo State.
The Minister, in a statement by the Ministry’s Director Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe on Tuesday, explained that the initiative is one of the laudable programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration aimed at empowering youths, generating employment and improving the social-economic well being of the people of the Niger Delta region.
According to him, “this programme was actually facilitated for the good people of the State by my humble self, when I was a Senator of the Federal Republic. I feel greatly honoured and particularly delighted, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to oversee the commissioning and distribution of these empowerment materials. The generators are mainly to assist people who are hairdressers, artisans, welders, etc because electricity is key to these businesses.”
Alasoadura also reiterated that the Federal Government is committed to driving entrepreneurship in order to reduce or possibly eradicate unemployment particularly amongst the youths, women and other vulnerable groups, as such the empowerment initiative will be a continuous exercise.
He added that those who were not captured at this time will be captured in the near future, and those who have been agitating to be considered and included in the programme should be assured that their voices have been heard.
He therefore urged the beneficiaries of these empowerment materials to put them into profitable use to ensure the Ministry’s mandate of fulfilling the Federal Government’s desire to make the Niger Delta region economically viable and productive is actualized.
The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu represented by the Deputy Governor-Elect, Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa, while appreciating the Federal Government, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Minister of State, for the laudable gesture, stated that Alasoadura has demonstrated through this empowerment programme his love and genuine commitment to the overall welfare of the Niger Deltans.
He encouraged those who did not benefit in this programme “to keep hope as their’s would come soon.”
Akeredolu also solicited collaboration between the State and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in other areas of the economy and projects such as road construction and housing in the State.
On his part, Director, Economic Empowerment Department in the Ministry, Mr. Philip Ndiomu stated that “2 years ago, the Federal Government through the Ministry commissioned and distributed Motorcycles and Tricycles to empower the youths in Ondo State and today it is grinding machines and generators, this initiative is expected to reduce the increased search and dependence of the youth on white collar jobs.”
He posited that this empowerment programme would enhance economic capacity of the beneficiaries with little or zero reliance on government and ensure also that youths are productively and economically engaged to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region, as well as mitigate rural-urban drift.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to exercise prudence in financial management on day to day operations in their respective enterprises, adding that the Ministry will continue to partner with the empowered beneficiaries through constant and timely inspection to supervise, mentor and counsel them accordingly.