FOUNDER SPEECH AT THE OFFICIAL COMMISSIONING OF THE UGBEKPE-EKPERI COMMUNITY RICE MILL PROJECT IN EDO STATE 2020
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency, Kikuta Yutaka
The Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11
The Executive Chairman of Etsako Central LGA, Comrade John Osi Akhigbe
The Egiegbai II of Ekperi Kingdom, Alhaji D.Y.E. Kanoba
Traditional Rulers and Chiefs
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies & Gentlemen
Greetings from the Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO).
Your Excellencies, we are immensely grateful to you for your invaluable support and for sparing time to join us to commission the Ugbekpe-Ekperi Community Rice Mill Project built by the Japanese government in partnership with LAPO.
Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) is a pro-poor development organization that was initiated in the late 1980s, an equally trying period for Nigerians after the adoption of some aspects of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). LAPO was primarily designed to support low-income but economically active persons particularly women to break out of poverty.
Since its inception in 1987, LAPO has been involved in the health and socio-economic empowerment of community members and playing a major role in addressing the challenges of malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health issues particularly in rural communities across the country. The organization is currently implementing a massive cancer awareness programme tagged the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO-C4) in Edo, Lagos, Rivers, Imo and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in partnership with 13 Community-Based Organizations with five in Edo state.
The ultra-modern Ugbekpe-Ekperi Community Rice Mill Project, built at a total cost of $94,263 (N28,750,070.00) has the capacity to mill three tons of paddy rice per day and thus ensure accessibility of rural dwellers to improved quality rice output. It will bring succor to the community members who hitherto travel long distances to mill and market their produce in neighboring towns with all the attendant inconveniences, improve the household income and livelihood of target beneficiaries as well as create job opportunities for the teeming youths.
The project is a commitment by the government and people of Japan together with LAPO to end poverty and hunger in Edo State and ultimately ensure that the people live healthy lives.
I deeply appreciate the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Kikuta Yutaka for his commitment to the project and for his presence here today. I wish to extend appreciation to the elders and members of this community for their support and urge them to ensure good maintenance of the facility.
Thank you all and God Bless.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe PhD
Office of the Founder of LAPO
March 10, 2020
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