A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency of Cross River State, put smiles on the faces of his constituents when he empowered over 600 of them with scholarships, sewing machines and electricity generators worth N100m.
Apart from these items, he also organised free computer training, entrepreneurial training for youths, offered micro-finance assistance to traders and farm inputs and cash to 50 farmers, free medical outreach to over 200 widows and the aged as well as the less privileged.
At least 200 indigent students in both secondary and tertiary institutions benefitted from bursary and scholarship awards, while 50 young men and women undergoing different entrepreneurial skills acquisition under the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] agric training programme are expected to be given N2.5m each after the training. Some of the beneficiaries also include over 150 people from Jarigbe's skills acquisition scheme and 75 people on transport initiative.
Speaking during the 7th empowerment/town hall meeting, held at Ogoja Local Government Council Secretariat over the weekend, Agom said: “I humbly presented myself for election before my people and they voted massively for me.
"Therefore, I came here to give back what they gave me in 2015 because I am only holding the power on their behalf. What I have done here today cannot be compared to what they have done for me, but this is just the beginning, the best of me is yet to come.
"It is in appreciation of the mandate that I again decided to give out four vehicles, 31 pieces of brand new bikes, 36 sewing machines, 25 grinding machines and 10 generators as well as cash of about N10m to the needy.
“I am massively grateful to my /people and God willing, the next exercise will be better than this one. I thank them all for the opportunity to represent them and pray that God will meet them all at their respective points of need.”
He enjoined the beneficiaries to make judicious use of their items and possibly invest wisely and also teach others to acquire the various skills.
Chief of Staff to Governor Ben Ayade, Martin Orim, who represented the governor, said: “Jarigbe's empowerment programme has raised the bar, especially for a first time House of Reps. I can tell you that the governor is happy and impressed that the people who voted in the parliamentarian are actuallythe direct beneficiaries.
“From what is happening, any elected representative that does not perform well will be voted out. This office is held in trust for the people and our elected officials need to report to the people as the office is not a personal thing.
Also peaking at the event, the Cross River State PDP Deputy Chairman, Patrick Ebam, said the projects attracted by the lawmaker to his constituency are an indication of his love for his people.
According to Ebam, “the lawmaker has attracted 89 projects and empowered hundreds of people. He has given quality representation by coming back to identify with the voters and enjoined others to borrow a leaf from him.
“This is a total display of sincerity and accountability to his people. He has shown that he not only represents his people, he is also close to them and this people as you can see, believe in him.”
A beneficiary, Mrs. Cordelier Amana, 45, from Amana-Urban ward in Ogoja, said: “I thank God for what our honourable member has done for me and my family. He has given me sewing machine and I will give it to my daughter who just finished learning how to sew.”