Grooming Self-reliant Youths

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To groom self-reliant youths, Senator Bright Nwanne’s Foundation recently empowered over 150 youths of his immediate community and other adjourning communities- all 10 communities in Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State. Amby Uneze reports that the empowerment was in the area of poultry farming as well as fishery

Philanthropy is a thing of the mind and for somebody to engage in the art, they must be a lover of humanity and a crime-free society at large.

For a man to float a foundation that is not channeled towards political gain, such a person must be one who has the fear of God as well as a lover of humanity. Rightly or wrongly, many people have floated foundations but most times their ulterior motive is to win the soul of the people for political gains.

Therefore, for Senator Bright Nwanne, to remain a focused gentleman in the art of giving freely to the people without looking for reward must be an exceptional being. In the first instance, he does some of these philanthropic gestures without blowing his trumpet, but would prefer to remain silent about them.

However, due to persuasion by his adherents to highlight one or two of these activities being carried out by his foundation, Senator Bright Nwanne Foundation (SBNF), he obliged to their request.

In a low key arrangement, this renowned philanthropist through his foundation recently empowered over 150 youths of his immediate community and other adjourning communities that is, the 10 communities in Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government a6rea of Imo State in various agricultural skills. The empowerment was in the area of poultry farming as well as fishery production.

The programme was aimed at creating meaningful jobs as a way of eradicating crimes among the youths in the communities. It was also targeted at reducing other criminal activities in the area as the youths would be fully engaged into meaningful ventures that eventually make them self-reliant.

The activities leading to the distribution of the poultry materials kicked off with a weeklong training programme of all the beneficiaries under the watchful eyes of the consultant who engaged them on the rudiments of poultry farming as well as how to grow and sustain profitable small scale businesses.

Distributing the items such as poultry drinkers, feeders, five bags of poultry feeds to each person, chicks (50 day old each), drugs, charcoal to heat the birds and take off capital on Tuesday at the ultra modern civic centre also built by the philanthropist, Senator Bright Nwanne told journalists that he was embarking on the project in order to assist the youths of his community and its adjourning communities to engage in meaningful businesses that would eventually remove them from criminal activities and other social vices.

According to him, “if we are not careful, we will mismanage our youths. Based on this therefore, I thought of empowering youths in the 10 communities in Onicha Mbaise where I come from, not as a politician because I am not into politics this time around but as a continuation of my sincere contribution to develop my people and the communities.

He said “I have always been taking the 10 communities in my local government as my primary constituency. That is Onicha Mbaise, even though it is very big, however, during the lockdown, I gave out COVID-19 palliatives to the people there. Among all the things I plan to do and the ones I have done is to train some selected youths on poultry management. I had to get a poultry consultant for one week and now those that participated in the training programme are being given start-up materials such as drinker, feeder, poultry feed and drugs, and chicks, charcoal to heat the birds and the take off capital.

“About 150 youths are beneficiaries of the empowerment in the 10 communities. The method of selection was based on the recommendation by the committee we set up which involved the youths of the communities. The committee is made up of credible people and they made sure that the beneficiaries are serious-minded youths who would use the opportunity to build themselves.

“To make sure this programme works out well, we got guarantors who would monitor and ensure that the beneficiaries do not divert or sell the equipment and materials given to them. Also the guarantors would give them advice and hold them responsible to be able to make good use of the items entrusted in their care and for their own future benefit. This empowerment is not refundable, it is entirely their own but they should manage it well to make a living.

“In addition to the items given out for individual use, I have also procured five Sienna buses for the youths of the communities to manage as well. To this end, a dedicated account will be created for and managed by the youths whereby the monies realised from this venture would be kept in that dedicated account.

“It will be a sort of bank for the youths so that those of them that want soft loans to put in their businesses, it would be granted to them because they will pay back the soft loan. Then by the end of the year, the committee incharge of the programme would check up the money realised and subsequently procure more buses to increase the fleet for the programme to be sustained.

Senator Nwanne also disclosed another arm of the empowerment which is to empower a different set of youths on fishery production and other skills to be added.

The buses, according to him, would be operating from the ultra modern motor park built by the foundation. Our correspondent reliably gathered that the motor park, a new police station, gigantic civil centre with guest house that has about 30 rooms, offices and two halls with the capacity to contain about 1000 people also built and to be donated free to the communities by the Senator Bright Nwanne Foundation would be commissioned soon.

The police station, solely built by Senator Bright Nwanne, which is among the projects to be handed over soon to the appropriate authorities, would be named after the first senior police officer produced by the Onicha community as “S.I. Egbuka Police Station, Onicha Mbaise”. He was the ADC to Dr. Akanu Ibiam, the first Governor of Eastern region. His wife, Mrs. Egbuka also rose and became Commissioner of Police, and his first son is presently the Commissioner of Police, Plateau State.

“You can see they have brought a Good name of Onicha Mbaise in the map of Nigeria and the world. That police station when handed over will be in honour of S.I. Egbuka,” he said.

Nwanne, a third republic senator who at a tender age became a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria due to his humility and astuteness in life, has since then continued to maintain such posture. He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Nigerian Constitution which midwifed that republic, though short-lived due to military incursions into the Nigerian political foray, he believes in the development of the country, hence he has not relented in promoting any cause that is geared towards making Nigeria a great nation as it were.

Ever since he became a national figure going by his numerous contributions both in the Constituent Assembly and the Senate, Nwanne has not looked back in also contributing to the development of his immediate community, Ezinihitte as well as the Mbaise nation and Imo State at large through his philanthropic gestures spanning from offering employment to many to assisting others in their educational pursuit. He is a believer of the development of Nigeria as well as a peace-loving, humanitarian personality that likes putting joy and smiles in the face of the people.

A successful businessman par excellence with interest in manufacturing, international trade, and real estate, Nwanne also contested the governorship primaries under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

In his remarks, the chairman of Ezinihitte Council of traditional Rulers, HRH, Eze Ossy Nwokocha who was represented by the deputy chairman, HRH, Eze Ifeanyi Uwaghemu praised the patriotic zeal of Senator Nwanne in the development strive of the area. He counseled the beneficiaries to utilise the empowerment judiciously.

“This empowerment by our son, Senator Bright Nwanne is completely out of politics because the beneficiaries cut across all segments of the youths in the communities irrespective of their political leaning of the beneficiaries.

“His ultimate aim is to reduce criminality in the society hence he targeted the vulnerable group which is the youths. The cause of crimes is because of lack of job and when somebody is meaningfully engaged in business, such a person cannot think of involving in any criminality of sorts.

“We as traditional rulers and our people are happy with our son for this wonderful gesture and we wish him well in his endeavours. I call on other well-to-do people to emulate Senator Nwanne to extend hands of goodwill to the needy in the society.

“For him to build the police station, gigantic civic centre with halls and guest rooms, and motor park and donate to our community he has done marvelously well. In that regard, I want to stress that seeing all these developmental projects brought by our son, I had to donate my land as part of my contribution towards the building of the police station,” Eze Uwaghemu said.

For Mbanefo Nwanne, the younger brother to Senator Bright Nwanne, he commended the initiative of his senior brother to provide for the wellbeing of the people of his community, particularly by empowering the youths.

“From the inception of the Senator Bright Nwanne Foundation, I have been involved and our principal does not believe in half measures. If it is not the best, he will not go into it.”

He urged the beneficiaries to apply wisdom in managing their business so that it would grow and others would benefit from it.

One of the beneficiaries, Ibe Benjamin Chinenye from Umelagwa Onicha expressed joy for being part of the empowerment. According to him, “I am highly overwhelmed with what is happening here today. Some expressed doubt that it was a political thing but today, it has come to pass that it is a reality and there is no politics attached to it.

“You can see that the donor is not here personally, that is to say that he is not playing politics with the empowerment. I bless Senator Bright Nwanne and urge other beneficiaries to take the empowerment seriously by living up to expectation. We are the pacesetters; the way we handle it will make him do more for our people.”

Also, other beneficiaries eulogised the donor for remembering the youths and promised to be good ambassadors of the foundation and the communities where they come from.