From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
A visually impaired mother of four, Mrs Kehinde Ajibade, was among hundreds of beneficiaries of economic empowerment tools distributed to artisans by the Kwara State Government in Ilorin on Thursday.
This is just as the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, reaffirmed that his government has an obligation to ensure that no segment of the society is left behind.
Mrs Ajibade, who was accompanied to the venue of the event by her blind husband and two of her children, said she is a native of Ondo State but is a resident of Ilorin.
The event was organized by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Empowerment
Hundreds of tools, including sewing machines, deep freezer, guiding machines, make up kits and cash were dolled out to various categories of people based on their needs assessment.
Beneficiaries of the empowerment are spread across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
The governor said the programme aligns with his administration’s efforts to drive inclusive growth, poverty reduction, and societal cohesion.
‘Our objective for supporting this kind of initiative is to give everyone a fair sense of belonging. This is not tokenism as some people may claim. It is a form of economic inclusion which is important to strengthen societal cohesion,’ according to the governor.
He appealed to beneficiaries of the items to use them properly as a complement to their earlier training.
‘Our appeal to the beneficiaries is to use it properly. I’m aware that some of the beneficiaries had earlier been trained and this is only to get them starting. For some others, it is the government’s response to their needs assessment at this time,’ he said.
‘Every society is divided into strata and each of them deserves to be taken care of within available resources. This is what we are committed to. We will not leave anyone behind.
‘A careful reading of our Economic Sustainability and Delivery Plan 2021-2024 shows clearly the direction we are headed. We are not just committed to opening up Kwara for sustainable development by building critical infrastructure, we are working very hard to achieve inclusive growth that brings everyone on board.’
The Special Assistant to the governor on Women Empowerment, Hajia Bolanle Ismail, said the administration believes that entrepreneurship is a vital component of the global campaign against mass poverty.
‘It is vital to have support mechanisms, organisations, mentors, networks and training through which we can implement our brilliant, game-changing ideas. We are incredibly fortunate to have all of these in the roadmap of the government,’ she said.
‘Governor Abdulrazaq is always ready to rekindle the lost hope and bring laughter to Kwaran women.’
The event was attended by the deputy governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, cabinet members and top government officials.