Friday, 11 May 2018

Abi/Yakurr 2018: Alex Egbona covenants constituents, rolls out constituency blueprint and proposed projects

| 10 May 2018 | Ukorebi Esien 

Chief (Hon) Dr. Alex Egbona, a former chief of staff to ex-Governor Liyel Imoke and a strong contender for the Federal seat of Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in House of Representatives has covenanted with constituents to be an efficient, effective and better representative should he be elected into office.

Dr. Egbona took the vows whilst presenting a brief manifesto and proposed projects to the good people of Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency. 

The Abi born political heavyweight said his manifesto is not ' is not the usual dish that politicians serve  when they are looking for votes neither is it a recycled piece of document that contains promises meant to deceive electorates nor a manual of empty and unrealistic promises'. 

 Dr. Egbona said he sees his manifesto rather as a pledge, a convent of service, an instrument of change and a bond with his constituents to deliver their yearnings. 

'It is my pledge with you, the people of Abi / Yakkurr Federal Constituency. It is my bond. It is my covenant of service. 

It is my instrument for change in our Constituency. Believe me, you can hold me accountable on this in another four years as I serve you in the House of Representatives from 2019'. He added. 

The Grass root politician revealed that he had consulted wide before venturing out to seek the office and the consensus answer of acceptance gave him the boldness to step out. He said the people also believe he has paid his due by representing them at different instance without a stain on his reputation, thus he deserves a representative seat at the national assembly. 

'The consensus is that having paid my dues, having served in various capacities in the past without blemish, having shown character and attitude, I am eminently qualified to present myself to you for service. It is on this note that I humbly ask for your support as we strive to take representation in this Constituency to greater heights'. 

While putting forward his agenda and blueprint, Chief Egbona revealed that his agenda is actually borne out of his willingness to always and continually do good and put smiles on faces. 

He further revealed that he has taken steps to improve on what he had been doing as a private citizen and that his empowerment scheme as a lawmaker will focus more on vocational/ specific and technical skills training,  entrepreneurial skill development, and Agricultural skills training.

'I have an unrepentant passion to help, to extend a hand to the less privileged. It is my hobby to make people smile. This I have done as a habit every year, under my empowerment scheme'.  He said. 

Dr. Alex Egbona's Constituency charter or mandate/agenda reads in part:

'Distinguished people of Abi / Yakkurr Federal Constituency, I present to you my pledge, being my covenant with you, if elected Member of the House of Representatives come 2019.

" I shall pass through this world but once. I therefore pledge on my honour to touch lives and make a lasting impression on my people throughout my stay in the House of Representatives...

...So help me God'

I make bold to say that I have a very robust plan to change the face of our Constituency for good. As you very well know, I have a past that can be verified. What I have planned to do is certainly borne out of my natural passion. I have an unrepentant passion to help, to extend a hand to the less privileged. It is my hobby to make people smile. This I have done as a habit every year, under my empowerment scheme.

Many of our people have benefited from this scheme. I keep doing this to prove a point that it is not only when one has been voted into office that he could empower the people and put smiles on thier faces. I started the empowerment scheme at a time that I never nursed this ambition. I did it as a hobby. I am driven into sustaining it because it gives me great joy when I see people smile. This is what I will keep doing when you elect me into the House of Representatives.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have already taken steps to improve on what I have been doing as a private citizen over the years. I will take empowerment to an extra- ordinary height in our Constituency and will concentrate on vocational / sector / specific / technical skills , training and enterpreneurship skills, agricultural training skills. My empowerment agenda shall include but not limited to:

1. Assist farmers during farming seasons.

2. Assist traders to enable them improve      on or add value to their businesses.

3. Give scholarship to the needy.

4. Assist indigent students in the.                  payment of school fees.

5. Introduce conditional cash transfer to.       some selected women.

6. Build modern cottage hospital within         48 months.

7. Provide good transportation network.      for Abi / Yakkurr people.

8. Provide skill acquisition centre to              reduce unemployment in the.                     Constituency. 

The training programme will be in conjunction with the National Directorate of Employment and the Bridge Leadership Foundation.

9. Liase with Federal Government.               Parastatals and MDA's for the purpose    of creating employment for                         unemployed youths.
 Let me dwell a bit more on the empowerment project because this is my heart beat.

We are aware that skills are traditionally transfered between the master( trainer) and the (learner) trainee through appretinceship and the place of learning is the trainer's workshop( which is a mini- productive centre) for a specific period of training. The method employed is learning and doing - devoid of theoretical aspect of the trade. In other words, the training is informal, thus unorganized.

The skill acquisition centre on the other hand is a specific location where more than one trainer are brought together under the supervision / management of an Administrator. The concept therefore is akin to skills incubation centre with a deliberate intention to improve on the informalities common in individual workshop. Common facilities like electricity, water etc are provided at the centre for the benefit of the different master craftsmen. The skills acquisition centre in a way seeks to modernise the operations of master craftsmen for the purpose of quality control which is the bane of the informal sector operators. Outline of other parameters of the skills acquisition centre includes:

The skills acquisition centre we are proposing will be sited within Abi / Yakkurr Federal Constituency.

The centre will be gender friendly and recruit unemployed graduates, non graduates, the poor and the needy that have no means of livelihood. In fact, the target beneficiaries should be the most vulnerable groups in the society who are unskilled and are most likely to drift from the rural to the urban. The success of the project depends on the competence of the trainers / instructors employed for the centre.

The core trades to be taught at the centre are attracted in Annexture A. The technical trades will be complimented with theoretical and business training.

There shall be a management blue print for the centre that will spell out conditions for the Smooth running of the centre.

The trainees will be paid a monthly stipend for transportation and other logistics. This payment should be done through the bank to cultivate banking culture in them and also giving them opportunities to access some facilities in the banks. The trainers will be paid an agreed amount depending on individual competence.

After graduating from the centre, a cluster of shops can be hired for them to practice.

Each shop will be skilled specific. This is to enable us monitor and access the competence of the graduates before starter packs are given to them. It is assured that if they acquire the needed skills to practice, they will not be tempted to sell of whatever empowerment materials that will be provided for them.

The skills acquisition centre being proposed shall be established on a contiguous flat land of about five (5) hectares. The trades envisaged are as follows:

Mechanical Trades.    
Auto Mechanic, Auto Electrical, Battery Charging, Panel Beating, Wheel Alignment & Balancing, 
Vulcanizing & Spray Painting

2.   Metal Works.        
  Welding, Aluminium Fabrication.

3.  Building Trades.      
 Block Making, Iron Bending, Cane Chairs, Plumbing & Pipe laying, Carpentry / Joinery, Cabinet Making & Upholstery, Electrical Installation, POP, Tiling

4.  Domestic Trades.    
  Fashion Design, Hair Dressing, Hair Weaving & Braiding, Cosmetic / Soap Making, Cake Baking, Bead Making, Hat Making, Event Management /  Interior Decoration.

5.Agricultural Trades.  
Fish farming, Snail farming, Goat / sheep, Rabbitry, Piggery, Poultry, Mushroom, Vegetable cultivation,  Organic - farming technique.

1.   Each unit shall have a detached            workshop that would be built to             specification and  equieped with modern  tools and equipment.

2.   Each unit shall have stores, changing         or dressing room, conviniencies etc.

3.   Provision of security post at the                 entry for the security of lives and.               Properties.

4.   Central parking lot.

5.   Provision of water and electricity.

6.   Access roads.

7.  Provision of Administrative blocks,          Project office, canteen, relaxation 
    hall,conference and exhibition halls.

8.  Accommodation / Hostel blocks for trainees.

9.  Refuse disposal etc.

The World Bank has identified the relevance of skills training to job creation efforts require the intervention of all and sundry. This project will strive to achieve these objectives. To increase the production, productivity and income of the Micro & Small Enterprises, through skills upgrading, improvement practices and access to vital inputs. To contribute to the sustainable livelihood at the community level through the empowerment of the poor thereby assisting them improve thier economic conditions, leading to advance social emancipation.

The expected output from this project is that trained youths will have jobs or increased earnings one year after completion of this intervention. The trained youths will include males and females with jobs in either self - employment or wage employment in the formal or informal sector.

I have heard people say that the Constituency has not enjoyed adequate representation in the House of Representatives over the years. But I like to state that our brothers who have been there did the much they could do. Things can only get better as we strive to get the best. The first may have been good, the second better and this time, I can only promise the best representation.

From time to time, I will consult you. I will open a Constituency office where I expect you to always come and talk to me about your needs. It may sound strange but I will ensure that I always get feedback from you on how the Constituency is faring and what we need to do.

To achieve all this, I crave for your support and cooperation. I seek and depend on your contributions. I need your partnership. No one person has a monopoly of ideas or knowledge. I cannot claim to have either but I know that with your support, we can overcome all the challenges that have brought us backward as a people. 

I cannot work alone, I cannot walk alone.
Let us do this together.
Thank you.

Ukorebi Esien is a Social Media Strategist and a Politics blogger with thedailynewsng who tells the Nigerian story one article at a time. All views are mine