Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East, Obong Bassey Albert, has trained a total of 520 physically challenged persons in entrepreneurship.
The training which was coordinated by the Border Community Development Agency (BCDA), was concluded on Monday in Uyo.
The training which covered Information Communication Technology (ICT), shoemaking, production of detergents and other skills, drew participants across the state, who in the last two years had submitted requests for such opportunities at the Senator’s Liaison Office.
Addressing the participants, Senator Albert, represented by his aide, Dr. Unyime Okon, said the training was geared towards giving the physically challenged opportunities to position themselves adequately in the face of the present economic challenges of the nation.
Albert also noted that aside his scholarship programme, which 381 undergraduates are benefitting from, he has been able to empower more than 5,000 youths and women through various training programmes, since his return to the Senate in 2019.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Asuquo Umoren, thanked Senator Albert for initiating the programme, which he said has motivated them to embrace entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to be self-sufficient.
To improve the condition of the physically challenged, wheelchairs, crutches, hearing-aid, android phones, and other numerous items were distributed to the participants based on the assessment of their respective needs, as well as financial aid to enable them to start a business of choice. Bags of rice were also distributed to the participants as gifts for the yuletide.
In her remarks, the representative of BCDA, Mrs. Lilian Elechi, praised Senator Albert for adopting a bottom-to-top approach for the programme, and urged other lawmakers to develop a similar framework to ensure people at the grassroots are also captured in programmes of such magnitude.