The Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Tokunbo Abiru is set to redefine the true meaning of enduring empowerment for the constituents by establishing series of enduring initiatives for members of his Constituency.
These initiatives are numerous, unique and totally unprecedented among regular Nigerian politicians. The empowerment initiatives truly lend credence to the corporate background of the former Bank Chief and further confirms his determination to ensure the prosperity of the good people of Lagos East Senatorial District.
Senator Abiru recently gave a full insight into some of these inittitives at a recent media parley with journalists at his Constituency Office in Ikorodu.
Education and Youth development being part of the cardinal areas in our constituency services, through my Foundation, TACT (Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team) Foundation, in October 2021, six hundred (600) brilliant but indigent students also benefited bursaries from the endowment instituted.
MSME INITIATIVE AND EMPOWERMENT
In a deliberate move at spreading prosperity across the Lagos East Senatorial District, my office in partnership with The Fate Foundation and Chartered Standard Foundation organized a Business Workshop/Clinic for 1000 MSMEs across the Senatorial district.
The training which attracted Executive Leadership of business-related regulatory agencies and partners like; BOI, SMEDAN, CAC, LIRS, NAFDAC and LSETF greatly enhanced the capacity of MSMEs in the district.
In addressing the dearth of knowledge which is one of the major reasons why MSMEs fail, a knowledge pack containing seven valuable books covering areas like; Financial Management, Human Capital, Legal, Strategy, Marketing and Communication, Digital Technology and Tax Management authored by reputable corporations including Deloitte, KPMG, Verraki among others were given free of charge to all trainees.
Participants also received Enterprise Development Certificates after the training.
N300 MILLION REVOLVING LOAN
I went further to announce a N100Million (One Hundred Million Naira) Constituency Intervention Revolving Loan at a very low concessional 6% interest rate per annum, which will be topped by additional N100 Million from the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF) has also graciously pledged to add N100Million totaling N300Million.
The N300Million Constituency Intervention Revolving Loan Scheme will be unveiled next month, April for the benefit of MSMEs, Artisans and tradesmen in Lagos East.
SENATOR ABIRU INNOVATION LAB (SAIL)
In the same manner, I have set up a Community Innovation Space known as Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) in partnership with a renowned technology and Social Enterprise company, The Co-creation Hub (Cc-HUB) in Lagos to train youths in the senatorial district on relevant digital and innovation skills, and build the best entrepreneurs that can compete in the ever-dynamic global economy.
The Center is currently situated in Ikorodu within our district, starting from the constituency office but planning to move into a bigger facility by July 2022. Five (5) pilot programmes have been put together with a view to proffer solutions to some of the challenges identified and many of our youths have started applying for opportunities to participate in the programmes.
Over Four Thousand (4,000) young people across the Lagos East Senatorial District applied for the SAIL programmes. Currently, over One Hundred Fifty (150) students are participating in the Five (5) Pilot Programmes at the SAIL Centre in Ikorodu while over One Thousand (1000) eligible applicants will be trained online.
The programmes are as follows:
Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship – a programme aimed at equipping Educators with new skills that would lead to better learning outcomes. It is for Teachers who are interested in inquiry-based learning, and want to use technology in their classrooms to the benefit of their students.
Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education for Senior Secondary School Students – a programme designed to introduce students between the ages of 13-18 years to the concept of physical computing.
Business 101 for Artisans and Creatives – this programme is designed for creative startups in the fashion, crafts, or design sector in order to upscale the approach to business in a fast-evolving world. This training will help creatives better understand how to use technology to improve their businesses.
Tech Talent Development – is aimed at identifying young people who are interested in a career in technology. Selected candidates will be taken through a learning plan that will transform them from complete novice to entry level software engineers in 6 months. At the end of the training programme, they will be fully qualified for an entry level job or internship.
Startup Accelerator for Businesses – is for young people who have business ideas that can be amplified by technology. The aim is to accelerate their growth with hands-on business support. For those who have a prototype, we will help them with product-market fit as well as build their capacity to be able to attract funding and support for their business. For those who don’t yet have a prototype, we will support them to develop their ideas for the testing phase.
These programmes shall run for between 3 – 6 months and more applicants shall be admitted in the subsequent classes after this pilot phase.
For this year 2022, through collaboration with the leadership of the Senate, the National Assembly, Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies, we are determined to facilitate people-oriented projects in our other LGAs/LCDAs in the areas of; Health, Education and other required infrastructure.
I have been able to facilitate projects worth over 1 Billion Naira in key areas for our constituency in the 2022 Appropriation Act. (Attached)
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I will be the first to admit that the economic and security challenges facing the county are daunting. Indeed, at no time in our recent past has the nation’s economy, well-being, peace and unity been so vigorously and persistently challenged. I however urge you not to despair but to remain hopeful. I believe that as we work conscientiously and openly, and together with unity of purpose and solidarity and with God on our side, we shall overcome all these challenges facing us.
The next few months is a time to strive to be better people and to also leverage on the lessons of the preceding months. Importantly it is not a time to be wasteful or careless about our economic activities, rather a time to harness every economic growth that the realities of the past years have thrown in our hands.
As we also know that 2022 is the penultimate year to the general elections of 2023, it is important to begin to assess our individual aspirations towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes a better place and this can only be achieved by ensuring that we all get registered as eligible voters and prepare to exercise our civic responsibilities without fears.
In conclusion, I pledged that we will work even better this year to provide better and more robust effective representation for the people of Lagos East Senatorial District and “ensure greater good to a larger number of people”.
I assure you that I will not let our people down. In 2022, the tempo of #DoingGood.