The Chairman, Nigerian Majority Leaders Forum and the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, has empowered 10 residents with mini – buses as part of his empowerment programmes.
Another 10 skilled residents were also given 10 sewing machines while five others got POS machines with N50, 000 each to start their businesses.
The empowerment tools were presented at a programme held at the four term lawmaker’s constituency office on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, and was attended by party and community leaders, party members and residents.
The mini – buses were provided to the beneficiaries by Hon Agunbiade in partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
According to the report gathered, Hon. Agunbiade has already paid the interests on the buses as well as all other expenses including painting, extra tyres and servicing, while beneficiaries are expected to back the main purchasing cost.
But the sewing and POS machines were given out freely to the beneficiaries, courtesy of Hon. Agunbiade.
According to the Coordinator – General, Onward Movement of Nigeria, the operative arm of Hon. Agunbiade, who also doubled as the Director – General, of the ranking lawmaker’s re – election campaign, Hon. Azeez Jimoh Olosugbo, beneficiaries of the empowerment programme were picked from the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers of Nigeria (RTEAN), Youths, Special people, Artisans and party members among others.
Speaking on why he embarked on the initiative to empower the youths with the buses, Hon. Agunbiade said that the economic support idea was conceived to support party men who aspired for political offices but were unable to secure the party’s mandate, to get back on their feet.
“We are here today to hand over ten mini – buses to beneficiaries”, Hon. Agunibaide said.
“We started with the initiative of empowering our people, especially those that aspired for political offices but were unable to get elected, to cushion the effects of their electioneering expenses, but the COVID – 19 pandemic prevented beneficiaries from fulfilling their obligations which I had to bear”, he recalled.
“There was also a boy that came to me to ask that I should follow him to his landlord, who borrowed him money to buy a mini bus which he has paid back and bought another one from the proceeds of the first one, to thank him for lifting him out of poverty.
“That also gave me encouragement to think that there will still be sone youths out there that might also have such spirit of entrepreneurship if assisted with buses”, he added.
While stating that he has paid the interests on the buses, Hon. Agunbiade pleaded with beneficiaries to ensure that they do not default in paying their installment to the LSETF which is the financing body.
He said that he has serviced all the buses, provided extra tyres, painted them and procured number plates. He added that the buses also have air conditioning system.
“We thank LSETF for supporting us in providing these buses for our people. This is what we are using government to influence for our constituents.
“Our plan initially was to give the buses to beneficiaries but about a week ago, a girl came to my office and pleaded that I assist her with a sewing machine. Whereas, there has been requests for same by others too earlier”, Hon. Agunbiade said.
“That was how we purchased 10 sewing machines to assist our people. LACOSTA chapters in Ikorodu Central LG, Ikorodu West and Ikorodu North LCDAs will get one machine each.
“We are going to give those that have challenges pertaining to hearing or talking two machines. Recently, when they came to visited me, they said that many of them are skilled and asked me to support them with sewing machines.
“Also, the girl that came to me for sewing machine assistance will also get one”, he said while explaining the distribution patterns for the sewing machines.
“Also, the Hausa and Igbo communities will get one machine each for their people that are into tailoring”, Hon. Agunbiade added.
On the POS machnes that were also distributed, Hon. Agunbiade said:
“We are also providing POS machines for some beneficiaries. I know of someone that started the POS business some years back and today, he’s living fine”, the lawmaker said.
Mrs Lara Adewunmi, Director of Programmes, LSETF, who spoke at the event, said that Hon. Agunbiade has been partnering with the body since 2018 and has been helping in creating wealth and also creating employment opportunities.
She said that the mini – buses empowerment, which is an initiative of the ranking lawmaker, is the first that LSETF will be doing in partnership with anyone in that regard.
“This is not the first time that Hon. Agunbiade will be partnering with the LSETF. We actually started our partnership in 2018 when we put together N20millon to support people in business in line with the principles establishing the LSETF which is to provide access to finance for people in need to grow their businesses to create more wealth and jobs”, she said.
“One thing that I have learnt from Hon. Agunbiade is that he knows what his people want and act on them. The sewing machines and buses are good examples.
“Hon Agunbiade has carried most of the risks but now, it is the time for beneficiaries to play their own part’, she said.
“We need to tackle unemployment, ensure that there are jobs out there for people because without jobs, the economy will continue to suffer. So, we need to understand the importance of this economic empowerment .
“It’s a good thing that you have such an Honourable that is always concerned about consistently helping the people of Ikorodu. You need to really appreciate him.
“He was the one that came to us with the idea and we bought into it because it’s laudable.
“We are implementing this idea with him because we have never had such with any other constituency in Lagos State. This is the very first time that we are doing this and we are launching it in Ikorodu”.
While congratulating the beneficiaries of the buses, Mrs Adewunmi also charged them not to default in paying back as at when due.
“I congratulate all the beneficiaries. I urge you to do the needful so that others in Ikorodu and elsewhere could also benefit”, she said.
Two previous beneficiaries of the mini buses, Mr Tunde Oyesanya, APC Youth Leader, Igbogbo/Bayeku LGA and Mr Saheed Awobajo, recalled how the buses given to them years back by Hon. Agunbiade, have assisted them.
They advised beneficiaries to be mindful of who they give the buses to if they cannot drive them by themselves and commended Hon. Agunbiade for the initiative.
At the presentation ceremony were Mr Olusesi Gbenle, Head, Intergovernmental Relations, LSETF, Mr Adewunmi Oni, Head, Risks Control, LSETF, Chief Saheed Akinsanya, Alashe Itunmja, Alashe Itunliwe, Chief Awolesi, Salu Apesin of Ikorodu, Chief Jokotex, Hon. Taiwo Longe, former APC Chairman, Ikorodu LGA, Mr Agbi, former Chairman, APC, Ikorodu West LGA, Hon. Iyiola Omisore, former Chairman, APC Ikorodu North LGA, Elder Ajayi Bembe, party chieftain, Alhaji Olakitan, former Chairman, APC Ikorodu West LGA, Councilors from the three Councils in Ikorodu Constituency I, among others.