… Advocates partnership with private sector to carter for the poor

Governor of Imo State,  Senator Hope Uzodimma has commended Prince Alex Mbata for his generosity of heart which has found expression in the latter’s Humanitarian Foundation Empowerment Programme that is taking care of the poor and vulnerable in the society. 

He made the commendation on Thursday and advocated for partnership with the private sector to take care of the citizens, mainly the poor and vulnerable. 

Hope Uzodimma

The event was the 2021 Owerri Zone Empowerment by Alex Mbata Humanitarian Foundation where over 3,000 people, mainly youths, widows and the vulnerable drawn from the 104 wards in Owerri zone were given 300 motorcycles, 500 hair dryers, 500 sewing machines, N50,000 cash support to 1,000 people and 2,000 bags of rice. 

Addressing the mammoth crowd that took over the Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square, Governor Uzodimma lauded the enormous resources committed in the empowerment by Prince Mbata’s Foundation,  highlighting that “Government alone cannot take care of our citizens except through partnership with the private sector.” 

“It is only through concerted partnership with the private sector that the Government can make meaningful contributions that will have a rapid impact on our people.” 

The Governor used the opportunity to challenge other Imo sons and daughters who may even be richer than Prince Mbata to follow suit “because according to the word of God anything done for the poor is done for God.” 

“We don’t shy away from our commitment. We have come to do only that which is just. I have not come to continue with the wrong.  So many people will be expecting good things to come too soon. But it does not always follow.” 

Governor Uzodimma reiterated that he met a very dirty office when he came to power and has been cleaning it since then,  thanking God that soon Imo people will start to reap the dividends. 

On the importance of the Mbata empowerment programme, the Governor said: “It is a stimulus package to manage and control the negative effects of covid-19 where the people were locked down, shops closed, businesses shut down and the economy shrinks.  It is only through activities of this nature that the people will once more recover and continue their livelihood.” 

He called on public officers, particularly elected officials to emulate the selfless service of Mbata who, though coming from the private sector, is using his wealth to assist and empower the poor. 

The Governor enjoined the beneficiaries of the largesse to ensure they put whatever empowerment package they received to appropriate and positive use to the benefit of their families, their communities, wards, LGA and to the State at large. 

He also prayed to God to remember Prince Mbata the way and manner he has remembered his people. 

Earlier in his speech, Prince Mbata thanked the people for honouring his invitation, especially the Governor, and explained that his benevolence is a way of re-defining humanitarian services and in fulfilling God’s injunctions in Psalm 41 verses 1-2. 

He said  his foundation is to empower, support and eliminate poverty among the people as far as it can, adding, “it is meant to assist a society where God’s own people will be empowered to maximize their potentials.” 

Contrary to insinuations that the programme may have political undertone he stated categorically: “I have no plan ‘B’ behind my mind in what I am doing. I have only plan ‘A’ which is to support Governor Hope Uzodimma to achieve and succeed in his administration of Imo State.” 

He thereafter proceeded to announce a proposed N5million empowerment per the nine Local Government Areas in the Zone for petty traders and artisans where as much as N100,000 each could be given as revolving loan to the beneficiaries who can return it in six months and be able to collect N200,000 to continue their business. 

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion,  Chief (Engr.) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu commended the Alex Mbata Foundation for the empowerment programme and asked other well-meaning Owerri Zone men and women to copy from him. 

In their messages, the Chairman Organizing Committee, Chief Henry Njoku, the Director General of the Foundation and former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Godffery Dikeocha and the Chairman Central Planning Committee, Lady Ann Dozie thanked their principal for giving them the opportunity to showcase his capacity before their people. 

They commended him for deeming it necessary to empower such a number of indigenes of Owerri zone and prayed to God to continue to bless him. 

Present at the empowerment programme were former Governor of Imo State, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, some National House of Assembly members, Commissioners, the Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu, members of the State House of Assembly,  top Government functionaries as well as traditional rulers.

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