From our correspondent, Calabar
No fewer than 600 people were empowered yesterday, January 3rd by the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development, Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta with items worth about N60 million.
The empowerment programme held at her country home in Ikom local government area of Cross River State.
The event attracted dignitaries such as traditional rulers, Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) including the 2019 governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Sen. John Owan Enoh, APC state Chairman, Sir John Ochala, South South Zonal Organising Secretary, Atsu Liberty among others.
Some of the items given out were industrial sewing machines, weaving machines, vulcanising machines, designing machines,
Hair dryer, Shoe making machines, beauty therapy kits and make-up boxes and Soap Making Machines.
Speaking, the DG said that the empowerment was her little way of giving back to the society in a bid to reduce poverty level in the state and county at large.
According to her “All major economies in the world are driven by small and medium scale businesses and Nigeria must imbibe this culture if she aims to become an economic power”.
She encouraged Nigerians to buy Nigerians made goods, adding that most of the shoes bags and other items that are imported are originally made in Nigeria, exported abroad and shipped back to Nigeria as foreign goods.
Ekpere-Eta narrated her experience in Germany where she and others were looking for the best suits in the city but ended up with a Nigerian made suit as the best.
Commending the DG, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Njan Agnes said that she and others were shocked with her level of magnanimity and philanthropism.
According to her “Words cannot express how excited we are. This mean a lot to us. I’ve been saving for years to buy industrial machines but to no avail. I’ve even approached some banks for loan but nobody gave me because I didn’t have collateral but today, I’m a bonafide owner of one of the latest industrial sewing machines in town.
“I’m not a member of her family neither have I met her before. I believe that it’s God who have used her to bless us. I want to say a very big thank you to her and pray that God should continue to bless and uplift her”.
Another beneficiary who introduced himself simply as Mr. Joe urged other politicians in the state to take a leap from her and empower the less privileged in the society to reduce poverty.
He said that “For me and hundreds of others who have benefited from this rare philanthropist gesture, we’ll forever remain grateful to her because things like these are not common in our state.
“I want to appeal to other politicians in the state to learn from her. The common people on the street don’t need too much; all we’re asking for is a shoulder like she has rendered hers now for us to lean on. We have ideas and the skills but no equipments. Others should copy from our super DG”