From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has poured encomiums on his wife Hajia Aishatu, describing her commitment to empowering the poor through her Non-governmental organisation, Muhibah Foundation, as exemplary.
The governor made the remarks on Saturday while flagging off the distribution of empowerment packages worth N75 million per council for 500 beneficiaries in Warji and Ningi local government areas respectively, under the Kauran Empowerment Initiative Programme (KEEP)
Speaking during the event at the Mini Stadium in Warji on Saturday, the governor praised the First Lady for her tireless commitment towards empowerment of the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Mohammed said his wife’s passion to uplift the poor has touched lives and complemented his administration’s drive on poverty alleviation, noting that empowerment has become a culture among his political appointees and politicians in the state.
“I am proud of my wife who has been looking for money since we were in Abuja (as Minister of Federal Capital Territory FCT) to carry out empowerment for women and the vulnerable,” he said.
“Definitely this is something one must be very proud of and it has become a culture in Bauchi.
“Everybody wants to do empowerment empowerment, every political appointees, including the SAs, this I am proud of”
The governor disclosed that recently an inspired member of the House of Representatives, representing Darazo/ Ganjuwa Federal constituency Honourable Manu Soro came to him on empowerment.
“He even gave me 100 bags of fertilizer to empower poor farmers. This is the kind of culture we are establishing and Muhibah Foundation is doing so much. I am not the one giving her money,” he said.
The governor also praised some politicians and political appointees in the area who are doing well when it comes to empowerment of people of the State.
“Hon Nuhu Zaki is doing so much, Honourable Kawule is doing so much, Hamza Akuyam is doing so much, Chairman of parties are doing so much and we are proud of this and we will continue to deepen this culture of lending a helping hand,” he assured.
While formally Launching the KEEP programme in Warji and Ningi local government areas, Mohammed said that about 80 percent of the State has been covered by the economic intervention covering 16 local government areas.
“The programme, as the name suggests, is all about making the good people of Bauchi State self-reliant by providing them the wherewithal and conducive environment to be economically productive,” he explained.
“The programme has therefore been designed to boost economic activities in order to address problem of unemployment and alleviative poverty among our people, especially the vibrant youth and women.
“The programme initially took off with the distribution of 1,000 tricycles (Keke NAPEP) to the erstwhile Commercial motorcycle riders, popularly referred to as ‘yan achaba. As you all know the tricycles were given out as revolving loan so that upon repayment other people would also benefit from the programme”
He said that since its commencement, the KEEP in the Local Government Areas, an average of N75 million, in both cash and kind, has been distributed to some selected beneficiaries in each the local government areas where the programme has so far been launched.
“The same gesture would be replicated today in Ningi and Warji Local Governments,” he said.
“Selected beneficiaries of the programme in Ningi and Warji Local Government Areas would therefore today be given the following items:- (a) Provision of starter packs and N50,000 cash for 500 persons per Local Government.(b) Provision of three motor cycles in each of the wards of the 20 Local Governments. The beneficiaries are Ward PDP Chairmen, Ward Coordinators and Ward Youth leaders; (c) Provision of N100,000.00 cash to women leaders and youth leaders in each of the 20 Local Governments; (d) Provision of five buses to each of the 20 Local Governments”
He urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity by properly managing the cash and items given to them to boost their economic status and assist others who may not have access to the largesse.