Mr Victor Akande, member, Lagos State House of Assembly, (Ojo Constituency I) has advised the Federal and state governments to do more in the area of empowerment to reduce poverty in the country.
Akande, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petition and LASIEC, gave the advice on Wednesday at an empowerment programme organised by him at Ojo Town Hall in Lagos.
“I am empowering the youths in my constituent so that they can cater for the old ones. The government should also empower the people and give them soft loans so the level of poverty will be reduced.
“We have trained some of the beneficiaries on how to use the items so that they will not sell them.
“Besides, it is not about giving them money alone, but giving them something that is useful to them so that they can be on their own.
“About 300 people are being empowered today. We have cash gifts of N200, 000, N100, 000, N50,000 and we are also empowering them with various working tools.
“The working tools included sewing machines, grinding machines, popcorn machines, shoe sewing machines, dryers and others. We are giving out 12 different kinds of items,’’ he said.
The lawmaker, who lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary ticket, said that it was his own way of saying thank you to the people of his constituency for allowing him to serve in the assembly for eight years.
Akande said that the nomination for beneficiaries were opened to party members, people in the community, churches and mosques within his constituency.
“This is who I am, I am people-oriented, the people put me there to represent them and I have to thank them,’’ he said.
The lawmaker thanked his wife for being there for him, adding that the event was an opportunity for him to reach out to a lot of people at the same time.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the lawmaker with a promise to make use of the items, which they said would ameliorate their suffering amidst the economic hardship in the nation.
A beneficiary, Miss Ebunoluwa Arolowo, expressed happiness over the grinding machine the lawmaker gave her.
The university graduate promised to hand it over to someone that would operate it on her behalf and give her returns.
Another beneficiary, Mr Alake Olawale, a former ward vice chairman of the APC in the area, thanked the lawmaker for the hand dryer machine.
“I want to thank Akande for what he had been doing in the past eight years that he got to the assembly. I will advise the other beneficiaries to make use of the items given to them effectively,” he said.
Also speaking, Mrs Helen Agebes, said that she would start a small business with the popcorn machine she got from the empowerment, while expressing gratitude to the lawmaker.
Mr Mumuni Abudu, on his part, said that the sewing machine would improve his livelihood as it would help his business. (NAN)