The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, on Tuesday, presented tricycles to150 women and youths in Calabar, Cross River, in the ongoing ‘Youth and Women’ Empowerment Scheme being implemented by the ministry.
Presenting the items to the beneficiaries, Mr Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said the programme was designed to uplift the standard of living of the people.
Usani, represented by Mrs Lauren Braide, Director of Community Development and Education in the ministry, said the gesture was in continuation of empowerment through the provision of tricycles for women and youths in the Niger Delta region.
He explained that similar presentations had been done in Warri, Delta, and that with the commencement of the implementation of 2018 national budget, other states of the Niger Delta would soon be covered.
“May I emphasise here that this empowerment programme is aimed at achieving some cardinal objectives.
“These include the improvement of transportation access, enhancement of economic activities in the state, haulage of inputs to and from the farm and fulfilment of other ancillary activities such as mechanics, panel beaters and others.
“It is my hope and desire that this initiative of government will also translate into improved peace and development in the state, and indeed, the region.
“I wish to place on record that this effort by the federal government is only complimenting the commendable efforts by the state government in the provision of jobs for the teeming population of youths in the state.
“I wish to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his consistent interest in the welfare and development of the Niger Delta,” he said.
The Minister said the empowerment programme will perfectly fit into the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) clinic drive being run by the office of the Vice President, since it aimed at promoting SMEs in the region.
A beneficiary, Mrs Alice Henshaw, told NAN that the tricycle would go a long way in alleviating poverty and making them self-reliant.
Also, Mr Richard Etim-Edet, expressed happiness over the gift, saying that he was lucky to be among the beneficiaries.
“I am really happy for this gift. With this tricycle, I can now make some money to improve my life. I want to appreciate the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for this great empowerment,” he said.