- 50 small-scale business owners in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital have gotten support for their enterprise
- The support was given to the business owners by a pro-Osinbajo group
- The initiative is one of the events lined up to celebrate the vice president's 64th birthday anniversary
About 50 small-scale business owners in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital on Monday, March 8 got a one-off cash grant of N100,000 each to support their businesses courtesy of a group under the aegis of ‘Friends of Osibanjo.’
Legit.ng gathered that the gesture of the group was part of the activities it lined up to celebrate the 64th birthday of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The group celebrated the sterling leadership quality of the vice president who they say has shown progressive leadership style and support for social impact in various spheres across Nigeria.
The choice of Lafia as the celebration of the vice president's 64th birthday by the friends of Osibanjo is not far-fetched due to the immense love, overwhelming support and care showered on the vice president and his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, by the people of Lafia.
The event, which held at the palace of the emir, attracted dignitaries including Nasarawa deputy governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe and several personalities from within and outside the state, who all showered encomiums and also prayed for the vice president to succeed in his endeavours.
The programme, kick-started with prayers for the vice president and his immediate family before the gesture to support various businesses was extended to the beneficiaries to commemorate the 64th birthday of the vice president.
The Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Mohammad (rtd), who offered special prayers, prayed for the longevity of the vice president in good health, sound mind and prosperity so that Nigeria would continue to tap from his enormous wealth of experience.
The Emir who described the vice president as a humane, humble and detribalised Nigerian, also prayed generally for the sustenance of unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse groups in Nigeria.
After careful selection, the Friends of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo donated N5 million in total to 50 persons, who were mostly women across the local government areas of the state with each beneficiary receiving N100,000.
Similarly, in alleviating the water challenges faced by four communities in Lafia, the ‘Friends of Osinbajo’ also sank four boreholes in Mararaba Akunza, Kausakuwa, Ahuma and Lafia South respectively as a way of providing potable water to the people of these communities.
Also, sewing machines were donated to a number of beneficiaries.
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo, who was ably represented by Malam Gambo Manzo, his special assistant on political affairs, encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the cash grant to propel their businesses.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at empowering small-scale business owners and the poorest in the communities to become self-reliance and avoid over-dependency on white-collar jobs.
Hadeeza Sabo Jibrin, leader of Market Women Association and Nasarawa State Coalition of Business and Professional Associations on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the group for the empowerment programme.
“We are excited about this empowerment and this is the first time we are receiving such goodwill from the Friends of Osibanjo and we hope that this will be sustainable.”
Meanwhile, renowned Nigerian economist, Bismarck Rewane, has declared that having a public office holder with intellectual depth like Osinbajo is refreshing.
Rewane, the managing director of Financial Derivatives Co. Ltd, made the comment on Monday, March 8 at a special public lecture in commemoration of Osinbajo's 64th birthday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
The economist who shared his various interactions with VP Osinbajo noted that the Nigerian number two citizen has, and continues to distinguish himself as a reformer in public office.
Similarly, Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, congratulated VP Osinbajo for his astute contributions toward good governance in the country.
The governor said that in spite of challenges, the vice president had continued to make quality contributions to the stability and growth of Nigeria's economy.
Jerrywright Ukwu is a senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng based in Abuja. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also an active member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books.