A group, Friends of Osinbajo, in commemoration of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s 64th birthday, has launched a one-off cash grant of N100,000 to 50 small scale business owners in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
Speaking during the disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries on Monday, the Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Mohammad (rtd), offered special prayers for the longevity of the vice-president so that Nigeria would continue to tap from his enormous wealth of experience.
The Emir, who in December 2020 conferred the title of ‘Madagun Jihar Nasarawa’, meaning the ‘Leader and Captain’ on the vice-president, described him as a humane, humble and a detribalised Nigerian and prayed for the sustenance of unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse groups in Nigeria.
“It is my prayers that Almighty Allah grants him many more years of abounding health, prosperity and enduring fulfilment. I wish the vice-president very happy birthday celebrations,” the Emir prayed.
Governor Abdullahi Sule, who was the Special Guest of Honour and was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, welcomed the Friends of Osibanjo and also appreciated their goodwill for celebrating Prof. Osinbajo’s 64th birthday with the people of Lafia.
After a careful selection, the group donated N5 million in total to 50 persons, who were mostly women across the local government areas of the state with each beneficiary receiving N100,000; this is in line with Osinbajo’s core ideology in the area of empowerment, aimed at reducing poverty among the masses and to enhance the socio-economic growth of the people.
Similarly, in alleviating the water challenges faced by four communities in Lafia, the group also sank four boreholes in Mararaba Akunza, Kausakuwa, Ahuma and Lafia South respectively.
Also, sewing machines were given free of charge to a number of the beneficiaries.
The Secretary of the Tailors Association in the state, Safiyanu Abubakar, thanked the Friends of Osibanjo for their goodwill, support and assured them of their determination to use the newly acquired machines to propel small scale businesses.
Also speaking at the event, Osinbajo, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Political Affairs, Malam Gambo Manzo, encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the cash grant to propel their businesses.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at empowering small-scale business owners and the poorest in the communities to become self-reliant and avoid over dependency on white collar jobs.
“We have flagged off bore holes in four communities under the emirate council and also to give out a cash donation of N100,000 to 50 small scale business owners in order to boost their businesses and become self-reliant,” he said.
A member of the House of Representatives representing Lafia Obi, Hon. Abubakar Sarki Dahiru, who represented the Friends of Osibanjo, noted that the boreholes are a necessity for the supply of pipe borne water in the aforementioned communities.
Hon. Hafeez Kawu, who is currently representing Tarauni Federal Constituency in Kano, also showered encomiums on the vice-president.
He said: “He took me as a son irrespective of religious and ethnic difference and has been a great leader. We pray he lives in good health.
“The communities that benefitted from the borehole gesture really deserve it, because potable water is scarce in those communities, but with this gesture, there will be enough water for them. So it is an intervention that will impact their lives.”
The Leader of the Market Women Association and Nasarawa State Coalition of Business and Professional Associations, Hadeeza Sabo Jibrin, said: “We are excited about this empowerment and this is the first time we are receiving such goodwill from the Friends of Osinbajo and we hope that this will be sustainable.”