By Steve Oni, Ilorin
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tunji Ajuloopin, representing Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency has distributed laptops, tablets to no fewer than 200 youths who participated in his digital training programme in Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun local government area of Kwara state, towards making them self reliant.
The two-week digital training programme, tagged: Ajuloopin Digital Empowerment Programme (ADEP 2020), commenced with the online segment on August 10 with physical training for participants.
Beneficiaries, who were at the end of the training presented with their gadgets and certificates of participation, were also promised take-off grants by Honourable Ajuloopin in order for them to be self reliant. Beneficiaries cut across the four Councils of the Federal Constituency.
Speaking, the Lawmaker said by the digital training programme, he was only contributing his own quota towards a drastic reduction of the high rate of unemployment in the country, particularly in his own constituency.
He said: “In this age of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), we recognise the role of digital knowledge as a major driver of our economy and very critical to our future as a nation.
“Sequel to this, we see the need to leverage in digital knowledge to curb the recurring menace of unemployment in our state and especially our constituency.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has unravelled the importance of digital processes and the need for the youth to embrace such skill.
“To ensure that our youths are fully equipped and prepared for the new order, we facilitated the digital empowerment programme to help them cushion the effects of unemployment by being self reliant.”
Ajuloopin listed his other executed projects and initiatives to include the distribution of free UTME forms to 500 constituents, donation of N10.5 million to 1,050 widows, construction of a block of classroom at Isapa as well as construction of five modernised farm houses across the constituency.
Others were erection of solar powered street light poles in strategic locations, provision of free eye glasses to the constituents and public enlightenment on COVID-19 with donation of face masks, hand sanitisers across the wards in the constituency.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, who was represented by Commissioner for Health Dr. Raji Rasaq, in his remarks, said the empowerment was in line with his administration’s policy thrust of engaging the youth for self reliance.
“The state government since assumption of office has given priority to engaging the youth productively and this gesture by Ajuloopin is towing the same part and is highly commendable.
“We belief that government cannot shoulder this enormous responsibility and with such collective stakeholders’ support, we can achieve our targets, aims and objectives.
“I want to appeal to the beneficiaries to remain focus and resolute in their efforts to be self productive and reliant through this journey,” he said.
Bashir Bolarinwa, the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his remarks, praised the Lawmaker for being a good ambassador of the party through his various programmes and policies.
“We are very proud of this gesture and other people oriented programmes aimed at bringing succour to the people of the constituency, especially the youth.
“This is no doubt a good replica of our party’s manifestoes, principles and ideals,” he said.
The Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, in his remarks, urged the beneficiaries to avoid engaging the gadgets in any negative tendencies.
“Many of youths today engaged this type of gadgets to perpetrate negativity, I’m appealing to you to ensure positive and judicious use of this gesture,” Adeoti added.
Awolola Oluwafemi, a beneficiary, said the training had afforded him a self service digital orientation and reduction in unnecessary digital expenses.
“I spent a lot during my last birthday celebration on digital photography and video production but with the knowledge garnered so far I am good to go.
“My plan is to expand my digital knowledge beyond this scope so that I can be self productive and generate some income to cater for myself and my family,” he said.
Miss Opeyemi Raji, another beneficiary, described the initiative as an eye-opener toward exploring the benefits accrued in the digital space.
“I have gained a lot since commencement of this training, even simple logging-in into my social media accounts have been at times problematic.
“But with the training I can now explore the remotest part of online space, most especially the digital marketing aspect to engage in buying and selling,” she added.
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