A total of 19 vehicles comprising six saloon cars, one mini pick up van, 12 commercial buses and N6 million financial empowerment were given out to the people of Okobo Local Government area by their representative in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Deputy Speaker, Mrs. Felicia Bassey, during her constituency briefing, empowerment programme and thanksgiving service. The event was held at Government Primary School, Okopedi Okobo, last week.
Also given out were 10 hair dressing kits, 10 sewing machines to women across the 10 wards of the local government area, power generating sets, hair clippers/accessories to 10 youths, 5,000 customized exercise books to primary/secondary schools in the area and computer set to the police in Okobo division.
Bassey said that the N6 million was disbursed at N100,000 each for 30 youths, N20,000 each for 100 women in Okobo and 50 women across the 31 local government areas of the state.
She said that her representation has culminated into the first phase of executed constituency projects in various wards namely: construction and rehabilitation of classroom blocks in select primary schools, procurement of 50 JAMB forms and other educational materials to students seeking admission in tertiary institutions, and provision of hair dressing kits and financial grants to physically challenged constituents.
Others are involvement of youths and women in various vocational trainings, facilitation of electricity in eight communities, procurement of seven electricity transformers to communities that had none, involvement of 100 women in small and medium scale enterprises, among other benefits.
She said: “Women, youths, and indigent students have all benefited from various areas of peculiar needs, including award of scholarships/grants to 10 students of Okobo, one Urue Offong Oruko and Uruan indigenes studying in various tertiary institutions across the country”.
In the area of representation, lawmaking and oversight functions, Bassey told the Okobo people that she has given a good account of herself before her colleagues and the state.
“In less than two years that I have been in the state house of assembly, I can say with a sense of modesty that I have been very vocal and active on matters of public importance brought to the floor of the House by way of moving and supporting motions.
“I have also co-sponsored and sponsored eight bills, two of which have been passed into law, one very close to my heart, being ‘A bill for a law to protect the physically challenged persons against all forms discrimination and to provide equal opportunities in the society and for connected purposes therewith. I am currently working on a bill to regulate smoking in public places within Akwa Ibom State”.
“My representation, apart from attracting quality dividends of democracy and empowerment programmes to my constituents, has established a robust synergy and partnership between the house of assembly member, the local government council chairman and other major stakeholders of Okobo project. This is why there is relative peace in Okobo Local Government today”.
“I have effectively engaged in various oversight functions as chairman of, House Committee on Women Affairs, Social Welfare and Special Matters, including oversight of 12 ministries; holding of successful public hearings on various bills; interface with several women and youths organizations across the state on business imperatives and opportunities in the state government”. At the occasion, the Okobo multipurpose cooperative transportation scheme, sponsored by the lawmaker, was launched.
The scheme, designed to boost the financial capacity of the PDP in Okobo, is also put in place to turn around the economic fortune of the people, while each member went home with a mini commercial bus, motorcycle and garri processing machine.
Bassey expressed gratitude to Okobo people for the mandate given her to serve in the legislature, and to Governor Udom Emmanuel for his programmes in the area, assuring the people that Okobo is set to sustain their support for the governor in the 2019 general elections.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the state House of assembly, Onofiok Luke, said the House, following Bassey’s constituency empowerment packages, is living up to its appellation as Peoples Assembly.
Luke said the constituency briefing of the deputy speaker was a show of love of what a Peoples Democratic Party representative could do for her people.
While announcing the donation of N2 million as support of the lawmakers to Bassey to extend her projects in the area, Luke called on the Okobo people to support Governor Udom Emmanuel in his industrialization drive in the state and his 2019 re-election bid, saying that the governor has performed creditably in infrastructure development and payment of salaries, even in the midst of recession in the country.
Also speaking, Governor Udom Emmanuel noted the Akwa Ibom State Government would always identify with development strides embarked by representatives of the people.
Udom announced the government’s donation of N10 million to support the lawmaker’s empowerment programmes in Okobo, while cautioning beneficiaries of Bassey’s largesse to make good use of what has been given to them.
Prominent personalities graced the occasion.
They include former federal ministers, Nduese Esien and Akon Eyakenyi; former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Peter Linus Umoh; former President of Esu Nlap Oro, Asuquo Enweme, serving lawmakers and members of the state executive council, among others.