FROM: JOE EFFIONG, UYO
A total of 520 physically challenged persons in Akwa Ibom state have received life support training skills initiated by the senator representing Akwa Ibom North East senatorial district, Bassey Akpan.
The beneficiaries drawn from the nine local government areas that constitute the Akwa Ibom North East senatorial district and beyond were trained in soap making, shoe making, mobile phone technology and other ICT skills.
The three-day training programme which held in the constituency office of the senator in Uyo ended today and had resource persons from the Border community development agency, BCDA, Abuja.
In his remarks at the event, senator Akpan stated that, “The programme was conceived based on the huge number of requests by the physically challenged persons in my constituency and made possible through the 2020 budget in collaboration with the Border Community Development Agency”.
Akpan, who chairs the senate committee on petroleum resources (upstream) added that life support items such as manual wheelchairs, ear-hearing aids, guide canes and configured mobile phones and crutches would distributed to the participants.
He assured the participants that, “a financial incentive will also be given to them, to help them start up the various trades of their choice, alongside a bag of rice for the festivities”.
Findings revealed that the beneficiaries were selected based several requests sent to the office of the senator by persons disabilities for life support opportunities.
Addressing participant at the training, Dr. Unyime Okon, said the training was geared towards giving the physically challenged opportunities to position themselves adequately in the face of the present economic realities in the country, which he said was critically constrained due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Okon who represented the senator in the event disclosed that more than 5,000 youth and women have so far benefited from the senator’s empowerment initiatives since his return to the senate in 2019.
He added that 381 undergraduates have received scholarship for their education.
In her remarks, Mrs Lilian Elechi, an official the Border community development agency, BCDA, lauded senator Bassey Akpan for facilitating a tailor-made training programme for people with disabilities.
She described the training as, “a bottom-to-top approach”, and urged other lawmakers to develop a similar framework to ensure that people at the grassroots were positively affected.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Asuquo Umoren, thanked Senator Albert for initiating the programme, which he noted had motivated them to embrace entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to be self-reliant.
Participants in addition were given bags of rice for the yuletide celebrations. END