A former member of the House of Representatives from Offa, Kwara state, Engineer Abdulrauf Kola Shittu, has organised a N2 million empowerment scheme for 150 traders and artisans in the ancient town.
Beneficiaries of the cash gift, who were spread across the 86 polling units of the local government area, got cash gift which ranged from N10,000, N15,000 and N20,000 each.
Speaking at the presentation of the empowerment material on Sunday, Hon. Shittu said he decided to monetize the scheme as a paradigm shift from the normal practice, adding that no amount of money was too small to improve lives of the underprivileged people in the area.
Hon. Shittu, who was also a former commissioner for Works and Transport in the state acknowledged that the citizens were experiencing hard times owing to the current economic predicament, saying that the current situation motivated him to lessen the effect on the people.
He said that the scheme had no political motive, adding that it was designed to better the lots of the beneficiaries.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart also said that Offa people are revered for their ability in promoting micro and small businesses, urging influential people of the party from Offa to follow suit so as to enhance the welfare of the people.
“My aim of embarking on this empowerment programme is to enable the beneficiaries to do something tangible with what gets to them for their economic gains and to help them plan better towards their future.
“In Nigeria, today as well know, nothing is too small to promote micro and medium scale entrepreneurship as the belief in our people of Offa in their dexterity is also a leading factor for engaging in this empowerment programme.
“The empowerment scheme worth N2million, and what we have decided to do is to be different from the other styles of empowerment. What I have decided, considering the situation of the country today and considering that our party wants to encourage entrepreneurship, is to target indigent members of the public, especially from the APC from our 86 polling units in Offa, who will benefit from this empowerment programme.
“The intention is to give them cash, no material. What they would receive would enable each of them to be able to do one thing or the other, to improve their welfare and their economic well being. It is my hope that I will continue to do this from time to time, especially on the quarterly basis.
“This is not the first time I’m doing empowerment in Offa, I have done some in the past and what motivated me to do this is because of the situation our members found themselves. I know some people would say politics is already approaching, I’m not doing it for political reason, I’m not doing it because I want any political position, I’m doing it to help our party members, I’m doing it to promote our party, APC, that is the major reason why I’m doing it”, Shittu said.
The Chairman of APC in Kwara South, Alhaji Jimoh Balogun and Chairman of the party in Offa Local Government Area, Alhaji Azeez Aro, described empowerment scheme as another way of rescuing people out of the wobbling economy and asked office holders to emulate Shittu.
The event was graced by eminent personalities including a former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Saka Onimago; Chairman of Offa Local Government Area, Architect Abdullateef Gbadamosi and Director, Media and Publicity of ABS Constituency Office, Alhaji Abdullahi Oganija among others.