Over 1,200 constituents sponsored by Chairman House Committee on Local Content and honourable member representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon in partnership with The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) on various skills have recieved support tools and N10,000 seed capital to assist their choice projects. The latest batch of trainees is in addition to 1,300 constituents who earlier benefited from the gesture during the 2019 election campaign period.
The beneficiaries, who are mainly youths and women drawn from the federal constituency, benefitted from the training and empowerment programme on catering, palm oil production, poultry farming, and agro business and ICT.
Speaking at the one-day training held at Government Technical College, Abak Local Government Area, the Coordinator of the training programme, Mr. Ubong Affia said that the gesture of the lawmaker was a way of curtailing the menace of youth unemployment in the society. Stressing the essence of entrepreneurship and nation building, he commended the lawmaker for empowering youths and women with light skills. “The oil sector is failing, we must diversify to other sector as the mainstay of our economy” he added.
One of the training facilitators, Ms Lucy Ekpenyong commended the lawmaker and stressed that engaging the youths positively in such initiative, will considerably enable them to utilize their innate abilities for profitable ventures in areas like agriculture and also prevent restiveness in the constituency. He tasked the participants to take the training seriously and focus on multiplying the impact to the ward level.
Responding, the lawmaker who visited the venue of the training to interface with trainees said he has taken steps to engage his constituents, especially the youths, frequently, through skills acquisition, capacity building and educational development; and more importantly, to key into the economic diversification drive of the federal government.
“Between January and now, I have trained over 2,500 Constituents and also provided support tools. This demonstrates that my efforts was not about elections, but raising the next generation. I am willing to accommodate more constituents who want to take advantage of my training regardless of party affiliation.”
“I have lived up to my constituency responsibilities by ensuring and attracting federal projects in all areas of infrastructure and services spread to all the 3 LGAs of our constituency, especially in building the capacity of our youths and constructing sustainable infrastructures in our constituency through my Chairmanship of the House Committee on Local Content. I challenge anybody to show any House of Reps Member from Akwa Ibom that has attempted one-third of my projects”.
The lawmaker noted that he decided to train them on various skills to add more value to their businesses and also bolster economic diversification which is the cardinal project of this administration.
“We as lawmakers should not fold our arms, but do our bid to eradicate poverty and unemployment. Ekon added that the beneficiaries were being trained and financially empowered to support their small businesses without any challenge.