A total of 520 physically challenged persons in Akwa Ibom yesyerday in Uyo received life support training skills initiated by the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Bassey Akpan.

The beneficiaries were drawn from the nine local government areas that constitute the Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district and beyond were trained in soap making, shoemaking, mobile phone technology, and other ICT skills and had resource persons from the Border Community Development Agency, BCDA, Abuja.

In his remarks, Akpan stated that the programme was conceived based on the huge number of requests by the physically challenged persons in the area and made possible through the 2020 budget in collaboration with the BCDA.

The Senator, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on petroleum resources (upstream) added that life support items such as manual wheelchairs, ear-hearing aids, guide canes, and configured mobile phones and crutches would be distributed to the participants.

He assured the participants that, “a financial incentive will also be given to them, to help them start up the various trades of their choice, alongside a bag of rice for the festivities”.

The beneficiaries were selected based on several requests sent to the office of the senator by person disabilities for life support opportunities.

The coordinator of the training, Dr. Unyime Okon, said the training was geared towards giving the physically challenged opportunities to position themselves adequately in the face of the present economic realities in the country.

Okon disclosed that more than 5,000 youth and women have so far benefited from the senator’s empowerment initiatives since his return to the senate in 2019.

381 undergraduates, he said also have received scholarships for their education.

 In her remarks,  Mrs. Lilian Elechi, an official the BCDA, lauded the Senator for facilitating a tailor-made training programme for people with disabilities.

Elechi described the training as, “a bottom-to-top approach”,   and urged other lawmakers to develop a similar framework to ensure that people at the grassroots were positively affected.


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