GOVERNOR David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State, has flagged off his administration’s empowerment programmes for civil servants and youths in the state.
The beneficiaries of the first phase of the programmes comprise 8,000 civil servants and 4,000 youths.
At the ceremony which held at the Abakaliki Township Stadium in Abakaliki, the Umahi noted that a lot of people keyed into the programmes and expressed his gratitude to them for believing in the initiatives aimed at boosting food production in the state and economic potential of the people.
While he explained that no amount of money would be enough to satisfy the yearnings of the people in time of economic recession, the governor advised those profiled for the schemes to properly utilise the funds in order to increase their income.
Umahi, according to a statement on Wednesday, February 1, by Emma Anya, his chief Press Secretary, said: “I’m very convinced that God wants to use Ebonyi State to set example for the project of Nigeria.
“The speed and the spirit at which our civil servants have demonstrated in support of this programme can be nothing other than divine. I’ve said that no governor and nobody in the kind of society we are now can permanently please all the civil servants. It is not possible.
“It is the fault of the situation we’ve all found ourselves but we offer you an opportunity to change our world and better our days.”
The governor, who announced that Thursdays and Fridays had been declared work-free days for participants to enable them go to their farms, stressed that opportunities abound in agriculture, especially in the areas of fishery, rice and cassava cultivations.
“Some people may not have full understanding of what we are about to begin but go and talk to those that benefitted from FADAMA III last year. Talk to those that benefitted from IFAD last year. If 6,000 plus got N4 billion into their coffers within four months, then find out whether we are joking,” he said.
To prove that his government was prepared to make the programmes a success, he added, “Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be working days only for those who are participating in this programme but then Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the civil servants participating will be expected to be absent from their work places so that they can go to their farms and do their work.”
The governor later distributed symbolic cheques to some beneficiaries of the empowerment programmes.
Contributing, Eric Kelechi Igwe, deputy governor and chairman of the Empowerment programmes, emphasised that the schemes were in fulfilment of Governor Umahi’s promise to prosper the people.
In their separate remarks, Donatus Njoku, commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, and Chamberlain Nwele, the state Head of Service, as well as Ikechukwu Nwafor, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, appreciated Umahi for his commitment towards the welfare of the people.
— Feb 1, 2017 @ 16:05 GMT