By Chioma Onuegbu, UYO
NO fewer than ninety women and youths of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district in Akwa Ibom State had cause to smile when the senator representing their zone, Chief Christopher Ekpenyong empowered them with sewing machines and cash grant at the completion of their training to enable them become self reliant and employers of labour.
NDV findings revealed that most of the beneficiaries drawn from the 10 local government areas in the senatorial district, namely, Ikot Ekpene, Ika, Obot Akara, Essien Udim, Abak, Ini, Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Ikono and Etim Ekpo were idle/unemployed youths who had no means of livelihood.
Dream comes true
One of the beneficiaries, Imabasi Effiong, a graduate of the department of Geography and Natural Resources Management, University of Uyo (UNIUYO) and an indigene of Obot Akara local government area, expressed great excitement that succour came her way earlier than she had expected.
“I feel so excited. I cannot explain how happy I am because this came when I needed it most. After I finished my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme last year I decided to go into fashion designing, I didn’t want to wait for white collar because of the high rate of graduate unemployment in the country.
“So I decided to do something for myself. And I believed that if I could acquire a skill I would be able to help myself and also assist people around me.
“So I went for one year training and learned how to sew. One month after my training I was thinking of how to raise money so I can buy a sewing machine to start.
“Luckily, I was called that my name has been shortlisted for this empowerment programme.
“So for me today is a very wonderful day because I did not know that the empowerment will come so soon, I was hoping it would be sometime next year. I am so excited and I appreciate our senator for bringing this help to us,” Imabasi said.
Another beneficiary, Mandu Thomas from Etim Ekpo Local Government Area said she could not thank Senaor Ekpenyong enough for putting smiles on their faces, and particularly for keeping to his campaign promise that the womenfolk would benefit from his empowerment programmes.
“I want to appreciate our senator for this laudable effort. This is a promise kept.
“I appreciate him for fulfilling his campaign promise that he will empower us the female youths of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district. For giving us a bright future we say may God bless him and keep him,” she prayed.