By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than one hundred rural dwellers have received training on the production of hand sanitisers, disinfectants, hand wash and liquid soaps, to improve their economic wellbeing as well as help contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The training with the theme: “Samar da Dama” (Creating Opportunity), which was powered by the FCT Administration through Abuja Entreprise Agency (AEA), as part of its Rural Skills Acquisition and Sensitization Initiative (RuSASI) had 50 beneficiaries each drawn from Gwagwalada and Bwari Area councils.
It was gathered that the participants mainly women and youth were drawn from different wards and Co-operatives within the Area Councils and are mostly.
It was learnt that at the end of the two-day training held in phases across the two councils, the Agency will give startup grants to each participant, to enable them launch their business venture.
In his opening remarks, the Managing Director/CEO, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Dr. Arabi Muhammad Tukur, noted that the need for rural community development can never be overemphasized, as the rural community holds the larger share of the economy of the country.
Tukur, who was represented by the AEA Deputy General Manager, Mallam Shehu Abdulkadir, opined it is hard to raise huge capita to start business, thus the need to encourage startups to start small and support their growth through access to market as a major pillar of the Agency’s Rural Entrepreneurial Development Strategy.
He adds: “After the Mask up competition in the city, we at AEA thought of a project that suits the need of the Rural Community, which led to the Skills Acquisition Training bearing in mind that it will be a source of income to the people and uplift their wellbeing”.
The AEA boss however pleaded with the Council Chairmen to off-take the products of the trainees and supply to schools and public places as the plans to reopen schools are being made, like in the case of the Mask up Abuja Completion where FCT Administration awarded a contract for the production of 50,000 face masks to be made by the top 20 participants of the Mask up Abuja Competition organized by the Agency.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the President on Community Engagement/Civic Intervention Mrs Onaolapo Olatoyosi urged the participants to show commitment, as it is a rare opportunity to improve their income.
She further urged them to pass the knowledge gained down to their various communities as it is often said that women are the lifeline of the society.
Not left out, Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, represented by the Supervisory Councilor for Education of the Council Mr. Hassan Loko, thanked the AEA for bringing such developmental opportunity to the people of Gwagwalada.
He urged them to make judicious use of the opportunity at hand and also empower others with knowledge and skills they acquire.
On her part, one of the participants Regina Enoch thanked the management for the opportunity provided them.
She expressed appreciation to AEA for the unrelenting efforts to improve the lives of the FCT residents and beyond, even as she assured of their commitment towards the training.