Tony Osauzo, Benin
Their joy knew no bounds because they least expected the empowerment packages they received from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), courtesy of Senator Domingo Obende, who represented Edo North Senatorial District in the Senate between 2011 and 2015.
The mood was electric among the people of Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, particularly 200 members of the community who were the beneficiaries of sewing and grinding machines and N5,000 transport fare each.
The beneficiaries were selected from each of the wards of the local government area.
At the event, political leaders, artisans and traditional institutions in Akoko-Edo local government area, lauded the government of Godwin Obaseki even as they urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to give him and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shiabu a second term ticket.
In his speech, the Deputy Governor, Shaibu who represented Governor Obaseki, said the focus of his government is to create enabling environment for private businessmen and women to flourish who would then employ others.
“Obaseki will continue to do those things that will make our communities, our local government areas better than we met them and that government business is to create an environment that all of us will be able to exhibit that talent which God has deposited in us.
“Government wants to be creating conducive environment for business to thrive. If you see Akoko-Edo for instance, a lot of infrastructure have been provided and that will make business to thrive. What we are doing today is to give you a job to do, you will do well in that job and employ other people”, the governor said.
Explaining how he procured the empowerment items, Senator Obende said he had the opportunity of getting contract from NPA as a businessman but decided to explore the Corporate Social Responsibility practice of the Authority to help the people of the area to complement Obaseki’s developmental programmes in the state.
He said the governor deserves a second term after serving the state meritoriously.
“When the people are happy, it is because of the party in power is doing well. What NPA is doing today is what Governor Obaseki has been doing since he came to power. This is one of the many reasons our people decided to queue behind his second term ambition. I am happy that NPA has allowed itself to be used by God to put smiles in our communities.
“We are happy in Edo State that in spite of the harsh economic conditions the governor is delivering on the promises he made during his electioneering campaign that brought him to power and we are sure of our support for him and his deputy in their second term because they deserve it”.
Senator Obende admonished the beneficiaries thus: “A billionaire you see today started with just a step, what you have been given today to start up with, is surely more than a step, and I hope you will run your destiny and deliberately deny failure to come your ways.
“You have not only received either a grinding machine or a sewing machine, you have been empowered with the sum of N5,000 each to assist you in conveying your items and to also install same to confirm thay your billion Naira chase just got started”.
In his speech, the Otaru of Igarra, HRH Oba Adeche Saiki, who represented by the palace Secretary, Chief Otunba Folorunsho Dania, said the state government would continue to receive the blessings and prayers of the palace.
Some of the beneficiaries; Asebe Raji and Margaret Ukana lauded the empowerment programme and promised to use the items to empower others and create employment.