Lagos - A Lagos lawmaker, Adekanye Oladele, on Wednesday empowered 69 persons comprising students and artisans in his constituency.
Oladele, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Lagos Mainland 1, said the gesture was to reduce poverty and violence occasioned by idleness.
The lawmaker gave cheques of N20,000 to 25 students of tertiary institutions that emerged winners in the LADO Educational Support Scheme.
Forty four artisans drawn from 11 groups were also empowered with tools under the LADO Artisans Support Scheme.
The artisans that benefited from the empowerment include carpenters, panel beaters, bricklayers, shoemakers, welders, vulcanisers, hairdressers, barbers, painters, mechanics and tailors.
Oladele said the empowerment was also a step aimed at ensuring that people in his constituency had access to democracy's dividends.
"We believe that a lot of students should be assisted with some financial support and artisans also be empowered to feed their familes.
"There are some artisans who are very good at their work after finishing their apprenticeship programmes, but are handicapped financially to purchase the implements needed to actualise their goals.
"We captured 11 artisan groups and we picked four persons in each, to assist them with their respective tools.
"As we do this, we are teaching them how to catch fish as against giving them fish.
We believe this will go a long way to reduce youth unrest in our area," he said.
Oladele said that idleness had contributed to the socioeconomic problems facing the country.
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The lawmaker said that such empowerment programmes would continue until the expiration of his tenure.
He said that merit was used to choose the beneficiaries, not minding political inclinations.
Semiu Bello, a 300 Level medical student of the University of Lagos, who benefited from the educational scheme, commended the lawmaker for the gesture, urging him to do more to bring relief to the indigent.
Segbenu Segun, a 300 Level Mechanical Engineering student of the Lagos State University also said the gesture should be sustained to help poor students.
Elizabeth Adeleye, a 200 Level Business Administration student of Yaba College of Technology, said she was excited to be selected as it would bring some relief to her.
An artisan, Yusuf Ganiyu, who received a compressor machine and other vulcanising tools, said he was excited to be a beneficiary of the empowerment.
Ganiyu said that it would go a long way to feed his children, praying God to help the lawmaker.
Ibrahim Lateef, a tailor who was presented a sewing machine, said: "I am highly impressed; I will use it to fend for myself and family, I thank the honourable."
An APC chieftain, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, urged the beneficiaries to ensure profitable use of the tools.
Olusi urged the lawmaker to ensure regular monitoring of how the artisans put the tools to use.