Sen. Olamilekan Adeola (APC-Lagos) on Sunday empowered no fewer than 3,500 people in his Lagos West Senatorial District of Lagos State.
The constituents, who had been trained in various vocational skills like confectionery, hairdressing, leatherwork among others were drawn from the 10 local government areas of the constituency.
They were presented with empowerment items such: as dryers, sewing machines and other start-up kits as well as cash to start their businesses.
He also called on political leaders to always impact on the people who elect them into offices by delivering democratic dividends to them.
“When you are elected into a political office ,you are elected because the people trust you and they expect that you will do good things for them.
“Basically this is the expectation of the people, and because political office holders are carrying the trust of the people, it is important they serve them diligently and impact on their lives, ” he said.
The senator said he was committed to the wellbeing and welfare of his constituents by organising regular empowerment programmes and facilitating projects in the constituency .
He said he believed capacity building and entrepreneurship were key to addressing unemployment, adding that the programme was to support the people and make them self-reliant .
“Training and empowerment are key to addressing employment and promoting prosperity .We are conscious of this, that informed why we selected beneficiaries across all the 10 local governments to partake in this programme .
“They did not know me and I did not know them personally .They were picked just based on their needs .
“I feel so fulfilled seeing these young people ,trained in areas like tailoring ,hairdressing and so on being supported today .I hope this will impact on their lives in some way s,” he said .
He advised beneficiaries not to sell the items given to them, but use them to support themselves, as selling the items would defeat the purpose of the programme .
The senator also advised beneficiaries to be dedicated to whatever vocations or trades they had chosen ,saying hard work remained the only key to prosperity .
He said he would organise another empower programme before the end of the year to capture more beneficiaries .
Adeola said he had facilitated many road projects in several communities in the constituency ,saying many of them were nearing completion .
“We are also installing transformers in our communities ,we are building classrooms across local government areas, we are doing much more with the trust reposed in us. We pray that God will strengthen us to do more,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Kayode Shonde , South West Co-ordinator, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said it was important to bridge skill gaps to promote employment and self-reliance .
“It is in the light of this that we identify with the senator on what he is doing for our young people. We commend him for all the empowerment programmes he has organised and we will support him to uplift the people,” he said .
Sulaiman Jelili, Chairman, Alimosho Local Government Area, also commended the programme, saying it would help empower the beneficiaries and support their livelihoods .
He said many people from his local government area benefitted from the programme and the previous ones organised by the senator .
A beneficiary ,Comfort Sunday, thanked the senator for the empowerment programme ,saying she hoped to improve her lots by making use of the items given.
“I am a graduate who has not been able to get a job. I applied for this programme and went for training in hairdressing .
“I am so happy with what the senator has done for me and other beneficiaries .I am hopeful I will be able to better my life with the dryer and other items given to me,” she said .(NAN)