A special Empowerment Initiative targeted at promoting enterprise, self-reliance, job creation as well as boosting agricultural yields has been flagged off for selected beneficiaries from Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, the Federal Lawmaker representing the constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ntufam Eta Mbora revealed that the scheme is based on the peculiar needs of the beneficiaries comprising an entertainer, physically challenged artisans, welders and farmer’s corporative societies.
He applauded the zeal and commitment demonstrated by the welders during their training programme and urged other youths to emulate such enterprising disposition in order to become self-reliant rather than waiting for white-collar jobs.
According to him “Our vocational skills acquisition is free. We only demand dedication, commitment and seriousness from the trainees. Once you graduate, your start off pack and rent for a shop is available.
“I want our youths to emulate our brother Ita Ekpenyong. Despite his challenges, he enlisted to learn welding and was zealous and passionate about the programme. Apart from the start off pack, I had to add a motorised wheelchair to him to aid his mobility. He is a great example”.
Speaking at the event, the State Women Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State, Hon. (Mrs) Florence Inyang lauded Ntufam Mbora for the intervention, noting that the gesture would check unemployment and assist farmers.
Hon. (Mrs) Inyang promised to mobilise unemployed females to embrace the vocational training programme to become employers – given the non-availability of job openings in government circles.
Speaking earlier, a former Councillor in Odukpani Legislative Council, Hon. Ani Ekpenyong described the scheme as a milestone that will curtail capital flight, produce middle-level manpower and encourage farmers.
In his reaction, one of the beneficiaries, Ita Ekpenyong who was accompanied by his parents, commended Ntufam Eta Mbora for the humane gesture and for assisting to realise his dreams.
Similarly, another beneficiary, Mr Evans Okon of Exxon Musical Band, expressed gratitude to the Federal Lawmaker for coming to his assistance with a 9KVA generator, stressing that the timely response will go a long way in promoting his entertainment business while revealing that he has lost numerous deals once potential clients discovered he lacks a generator to power his systems at events venue.
Items distributed include a total of 1200 bags of fertilisers and assorted chemicals, motorised wheelchairs, complete sets of welding equipment with diesel-powered generators and over 20 sets of 9KVA Firman petrol generators.