- Â Sponsors N156m empowerment scheme in Bauchi, floats football club
James Emejo in Abuja and Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has reiterated the need to tackle the worrisome rate of poverty in the country from the grassroots, adding that no democracy can succeed when poverty thrives.
The Speaker, who sponsored an empowerment scheme worth N156 million for 526 women and men from 20 local government areas of Bauchi state presented each participants with N100,000 cheques to start a business from the skills they have acquired.
The empowerment programme was on building entrepreneurial skills and the participants were taught how to add value to food crops such as beans and rice and how to package them properly for onward sale to earn income.
Speaking at the event, Dogara said the programme was part of his efforts to reduce poverty from the grassroots. He added that so far, through the support of his friends, N300 million had been raised from donations at a birthday charity football match and book launch for onward presentation to internally displaced persons in the country.
According to him, â€œIn that event, just for you to know we are not just blessings to you but from this constituency, we are raising resources to address poverty and internal displacement in Nigeria. That event has generated about N300 million and I believe it will be more because people are still pledging more. The credit belongs to all of us because if you had not supported me this wouldnâ€™t have been possible.â€
He said: â€œWhat we are doing here today is not politics. We are here to attend to those needs that have dire consequences on our nation. I have said it several times that poverty is a threat to our democracy and the only way we can address it is from the roots. Democracy should go with prosperity; we are not here to do any campaign. We are not here only for the training but to put resources in your hands and hope you wonâ€™t allow these resources to dry up.â€
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Hassan Turaki, Dogara also the thanked the people for supporting him to be able to make these happen by re-electing him, and assured them that he will provide support for all, irrespective of those who didnâ€™t vote for him because he does not discriminate along any line.
He said his goal is to raise people from the ashes of poverty to a glorious destiny, and appealed to them to make good use of the money presented to them to do businesses that will provide income for them and their families.
However, in a determined bid to boost sports in Bauchi State and promote youths with football talents, he further announced the formation of a football club to be sponsored by him.
The Speaker disclosed this at the finals of the Dogara Unity Cup competition in Bogoro local government area.
Teams from 7 local government areas in his Senatorial Zone, participated in the competition, with Spiders, Dass team coming second place and 3sc of Bauchi team clinching the championship. The 4th to 1st place team got cash prizes ranging from N150,000 to N750,000.
Dogara expressed displeasure that no Bauchi State indigene is currently in the lineup of the Nigerian national football team and announced that as from 2018, he would be sponsoring a football competition for teams from all the 20 local government areas in Bauchi to participate in order to brush up their talents.
He said he would invite officials from the Nigerian Football Federation and local league to bring their scouts to the event from the quarter finals stage so that they can possibly pick from the best players for their teams.
Meanwhile, encomiums and praises poured in Saturday in Bauchi at the reception held for Dogara to mark his 50th birthday celebration. The celebration was held at his hometown, Gwaranga in Bogoro local government area of Bauchi State.
Dogara clocked 50 years on December 26, which was started in Abuja with a book launch where over N300 million was realised through donations by various personalities. The money realised was donated for charity work by the speaker.
Speaking, chairman of the occasion, Governor Simon Lalong represented by his deputy, Prof. Sunny Tyoden congratulated the speaker for attaining the age of 50. He however said what is more significant was the achievements he made within the years.
He reminded him that his ascent from a floor member to the Speaker was a special calling for him to serve his constituency, Bauchi State and the nation in general. He therefore urged him to remain focused and diligent in discharging his duties alongside his other colleagues in the national assembly.
Speaking on behalf of members of the House of Representatives, Jagaba Adams Jagaba describes Dogara as a good leader who leads by example and sets a record that will be difficult to break. He informed that, the speaker has brought tremendous development to the 8th assembly as its Speaker through his exemplary leadership acumen.
He added that Dogara has also help in bringing legislations which brought about the creation of agencies like the North East Development Commission, which he said was meant to help in rebuilding and bringing succour to the people of the region.
Speaking, the state All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman, Uba Ahmed Nana represented by one of the state executive of the party, Lawan Mohammed said the party was proud of the speaker as he has become a leading light in the struggle to serve Nigeria.
On his part, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Nuhu Gidado said the speaker is a worthy son and people of Bauchi State are proud of him. He said a great responsibility rests on Dogaraâ€™s shoulders and prayed to God to help him in the discharge of his responsibilities.
In his remarks, the Speaker commended the people who organised the reception for him, adding that he thanks God for his mercies on the golden age he attained. He also commended his constituents for electing him over time to represent them, saying that his election signifies the unity and hope of his people.
He also assured Nigerians of continued effort by the House of Representatives under his leadership to support and initiate policies and laws that will better their lives.