The Yobe State’s Commissioner Ministry of Wealth Creation, Empowerment and Employment Generation, Abdullahi Bego has stated that, the topmost priority of Governor Mai Mala Buni is the economic empowerment of the people of Yobe State.
He disclosed this during launching of the Third Phase the governor’s Empowerment Support to small scale businesses at the Government House events Center, Damaturu on Thursday.
“We gather here today to another historic empowerment event by His Excellency the executive governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON.
“This is the third time we would be meeting here in the recent period to join His Excellency, as he reaches out in empowerment support to people and organisations across the state.
“And, as has happened previously, this is largely a support to small scale businesses and small-business individuals. And, yes, given what we know in the practical world, no one should ever underestimate the potency and capacity of small businesses to transform into big and consequential ones,”he said.
Giving an analogy, the Commissioner reminded the beneficiaries that, their businesses can grow like that of Aliko Dangote who opened the largest refinery in Africa in Lagos on Monday.
“As you all know, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the world’s largest single-train oil refinery built by business mogul, Aliko Dangote in Lagos. That refinery was clearly a triumph of Nigeria’s and Africa’s indomitable business and entrepreneurial spirit.
“But that’s not my point. My point is that Aliko Dangote, back in the day, effectively started his business, soon after graduation from the university in Egypt, with just three thousand US dollars which he reportedly borrowed from his uncle. That’s how he started – with just USD3000, although this is a princely sum even in our time.
“So, Aliko Dangote clearly started small! But today, he is Nigeria’s and Africa’s richest business person”,he added.
The Commissioner said, any of the beneficiaries or group having small businesses who will benefit from the empowerment programme as well as the numerous previous beneficiaries could be the next Dangote or the next Abdussamad Rabiu if Allah wills and if they make the determination and the necessary effort and sacrifice.
He commended Governor Mai Mala Buni So, for proving that the economic empowerment of the people of Yobe State is not an outlier or an afterthought but a priority in the scheme of service delivery of his administration.
“Through concrete, demonstrable action, you have shown – well before the creation of the Ministry of Empowerment; well before I could even arrive on this stage – that providing economic empowerment to the people of the state is an integral part of your administration’s socio-economic agenda; that it is and continues to remain front and center of Your Excellency’s attention.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in this third phase of His Excellency’s empowerment drive under the MOWCEEG, items and tools, such as KEKE NAPEP and JEGA tricycles, Grinding Machines, Irrigation Pumps, Barbershop Kits, etc will be launched by His Excellency for distribution. And His Excellency will speak to that shortly.
“I just want to make two very quick observations as I welcome you to this event. First, MOWCEEG has narrowed down onion farmers, vegetable farmers, wheat farmers and rice farmers across the nooks and crannies of the state as the main beneficiaries of His Excellency’s irrigation pump support.
“We have the leaderships of three of these four farmer groups present at this venue. What we don’t have present in this arena is the leadership of vegetable farmers.
“Our checks at the ministry show that while onion, wheat, and rice irrigation farmers have organised state-level unions, vegetable farmers are largely not unionised or are unionised only peripherally at the ward and town levels.
“This presents some logistical and oversight challenge that has to be surmounted.So, our effort to bring them together under a state-wide platform coming into this occasion today has not materialised.
“But the ministry will keep the allocation meant for vegetable farmers in its custody and will work with towns and communities engaged in vegetable farming to ensure that vegetable farmers are helped to form a state-level association that could be used to provide them the support currently approved by His Excellency in a way that is amenable and helpful to the Ministry’s overall supervisory responsibility”, he added.
The Commissioner further assured due to time constraint and the logistics involved, MOWCEEG will commence the distribution of the items to be launched by Governor Mai Mala Buni after the inauguration ceremony on Monday.
“So, business associations and individuals who will be beneficiaries of this phase three empowerment intervention should please take notice.
“I also want to announce that the four local government areas which were missed out in the allocation of certain items during our phase two empowerment series, namely Gujba, Fune, Karasuwa, and Bade local governments can now receive the replacements promised to them for those missed items, as His Excellency the governor has graciously approved the replacements.
“Lastly, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by craving your indulgence by asking you to join me in paying tribute to the perseverance, doggedness and determination, foresight and leadership of His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni, who has demonstrably made the economic empowerment of the people of the state a top tier priority.
“There are many humbling and edifying and really uplifting stories about how His Excellency’s empowerment support has touched the lives of countless people across the state in ways we could scarcely imagine.
“Those stories would be told for another day. But I cannot be more grateful. I cannot thank His Excellency enough for the honour to be part of this really transformative effort”,Bego added.