Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The lawmaker representing Onitsha North and South Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, has empowered over 150 people with various items to be self-reliant.
Items distributed to the beneficiaries included 20 tricycles, 18 motorcycles, 20 electricity generators, 18 deep freezers, 12 industrial sewing machines, 48 sewing machines, 18 grinding machines and 18 clippers and accessories.
Ikpeazu also organised a training programme for 378 women and youths in fish farming. She then empowered them with cash to start the business.
The legislative Assistant to Ikpeazu, Mr Ikechukwu Motune, who represented the lawmaker during the distribution of the items, said beneficiaries cut across ethnic groups, political affiliation and age.
He said: “She empowered some people in her constituency. The empowerment was done in three places, Emmanuel Anglican Church, Onitsha, for the beneficiaries from Onitsha North; Inland town and Otu ward, for beneficiaries from Onitsha South; and at her constituency office along Old Cemetery Road, Onitsha.
He said the items were distributed according to the needs and wants of the individuals and the people of the wards of the constituency.
“One of the beneficiaries is from Adamawa but resides in Onitsha. We also empowered other people from different places who live in Onitsha. In fact, 60 per cent of people empowered were not indigenes of Onitsha. She represents the federal constituency of Onitsha North and South, not the indigenes of Onitsha but all those living, working and doing business in Onitsha. The beneficiaries were about 150 persons who went home with one item or the other.
“The lawmaker also organised a two-day training for about 378 women and youths in fish farming for Onitsha North and South constituency, which cut across religions, tribes and political affiliations. At the end of the day they were given what we called ‘seed money’ to start their own business,” Motune said.
The director-general of Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Dr. Patricia Passu, who was represented by Mr. Samuel Agoda, who monitored the exercise, described it as the best way to reduce unemployment, create job and be self-reliant.
“We are here to ensure that all items were given to the beneficiaries as stipulated in the bill of quantity given to the lawmaker. We came to ensure that the empowerment gets to the actual beneficiaries and the items in bill of quantity were purchased.
“The distribution of the items was okay because the beneficiaries were selected from their wards. You can see the joy in their faces as they collected their items.”
He called on other lawmakers to emulate Ikpeazu to ensure that constituency finance given to them gets to the people they represent.
One of those who got a tricycle, Mr. Ifeanyi Nwachukwu from Odoakpa Onitsha commended Ikpeazu for her magnanimity in affecting the lives of the people.
“I had a problem in my business and after some time fire gutted our house where I lost every household item. But today, a woman has wiped my tears and breathed a new life in me. I thought all hope was lost, but she remembered me. I’m not from Anambra State,” he said.
Patricia Egbuche, Rita Ejike, Helen Ndukwe and Justina Amaechi, who got sewing machines, were full of praise to God for using Ikpeazu to lift them from poverty. They said that they were trained free of charge by the lawmaker and had been empowered with working tool to start their own business.