I stand here in gratitude, first to God Almighty for the privilege and opportunity to be here and to represent the good people of Zango Kataf and Jaba local government area. And then to you the good people of my constituency, for your show of love and support to me and the numerous projects we have been embarking on in our constituency.
I must say that the journey has been challenging, but then as it is often said, “where there is a will, there is always a way”. I pledged in the campaigns to provide you the dividends of democracy, and so whatever it takes to bring them to your door steps, I will expressly do.
In line with our promise to you, we have embarked on several projects that we know will be of economic advantage to the people. We have embarked on rural electrification projects in communities that have been kept in the dark, drilling of boreholes to provide portable water for the people, and this year with the kind assistance of the Speaker we are embarking on road rehabilitation, with particular reference to Jere kurmin jibrin kwoi road , Kachia Zonkwa to Samaru road etc., just to mention a few.
The next step which I am most passionate about is to embark on projects we believe will have impact on the people directly and will be an investment into their future and the next generation. And by this I mean projects on EMPOWERMENT through Skills acquisition. The issue of Youth and women empowerment has been very close to my heart. I believe that empowering the youth is the greatest investment we can make for the future as they constitute majority of our nation’s populace.
I have thought deeply what measures we can take to salvage our people from the bond of laziness and poverty. Our youths today have been labelled names and engaged towards uncharitable purposes by those who do not want to see us progress, to perpetrate evil within their communities and the region. Our women are wasting away with all the potentials and value they can add to the economy.
These and other reasons informed our resolve to hold this empowerment training, so that we can engage the future generation in meaningful economic activities that will be of benefit to not only them, but to their immediate families, village, community, Local government, region and the country at large.
Because of the seriousness we attach to this issue, we decided to partner with a government agency (SMEDAN), which has all the expertise and capacity to deliver high quality empowerment training that we know will be highly beneficial and impactful. I am sure that all the participants can bear witness to that.
Another reason is that graduates of such programmes organised by SMEDAN have the opportunity to get grants and loans with government, development banks and NGOs much easier than others. To this end, I urge the participants to take advantage of what you have learnt and the certificates you have acquired to access government funding through the various development banks like the BOA (Bank of Agriculture), Bank of Industry (B.O.I) etc, and even the microfinance banks we have here. None among you is expected to remain idle after this.
In fact, in the next three months, we will be going round to take stock of those who have been able to make use of the skills they have acquired during this training and we will make efforts to support them and to improve their business as much as is possible.In furtherance of this objective of supporting the participants we are collaborating with two local banks towards opening accounts for all of you. The minimum amount required to open the account has been provided. We will make a modest contribution into each account when the process is completed. The idea is to enable you have a smooth start in your march towards self sustenance.
For those who missed out on this current exercise I assure you that another opportunity will avail itself. Thus I urge you to support and be happy for these participants so that your time will come soon.
I will like0to thank the team from SMEDAN and all the instructors that are here today. You have played a major role in making this programme a success and we cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice.
To my dear colleagues and friends your presence advise and support has kept me thus far and I will never take this for granted. My gratitude is beyond expression. I deliberately kept this program low profile by not inviting many colleagues and friends principally because of the challenges we are going through as a people in terms of security and the economy. Thankfully there appears to be concert
ed efforts of late to address both issues especially at the Federal level and by extension the state. We pray that permanent peace will be our portion going forward.
If we must develop our communities, then we must put our communities first,and not religion not ethnicity or sentiments but development of our communities.It is often stated that kindness is like butter and it works better when you spread it around.
In the words of our brother and friend Senator Dino Melaye, If you speak the truth you will die, if you don’t speak the truth you will die. So let’s all resolve from today to speak the truth to one another and die.
Once again my dear colleagues, friends and participants I thank you all for listening to me this morning.
Hon Sunday Katung