Ahead of the 2023 presidential race, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said he will consult with political leaders before declaring his interest.
The minister stated this at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Awka, Anambra State, at the weekend.
His comment follows a call by a group of women in Anambra state, led by Nancy Okafor, who had asked Ngige to run for the presidency. The group noted that the Labour leader was the right candidate for the position in the South-East
According to Okafor, “We don’t want to wait for three months for you to decide whether to run or not. We’re mandating you to throw your hat in the ring for that position.”
However, Ngige had stressed that he would make his intentions about the presidential race known after due consultation.
Ngige said: “We’ve started political talks again. Please, give me around Easter, where we will have another session like this to discuss your request.
“I’m still consulting the political leaders in the country on your request. By that time, I will decide. I know it’s my right to decide on that. I will take such a decision at the appropriate time.”
Ngige also distributed empowerment materials to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, from the state’s three senatorial zones, worth about N50 million.
The Items include: generating sets, grinding machines, sewing machines, hair-dressing machines, among others.
He stressed that those empowered were trained at the skills acquisition centers at Alor in Idemili South local government area and Ifitedunu in Dunukofia local government area.
Ngige stated that before the year ends, the party seeks to impact about 3,000 people from Anambra on blue-collar jobs. He revealed that the party would not only train them well but also add skills and empowerment to enhance employability.
“We will be having a series of training after which the participants will be given certificates as graduates. When you get certificates, you will either get our empowerment, or you go to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and they will then do something for you.
“Same goes for the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, which is our parastatal. NDE will also start its programmes, and you will also join the programme. These programmes are being facilitated by the Department of Skills in my ministry.
“Today’s empowerment is phase two of that programme, which people from my ministry monitor. This empowerment programme is for those who use these items here to further their businesses.
“The generators here help those who have barbing salons to increase the number of barbing salons they have. If you have one, you are starting a second one now.
“The women here who are also hairdressers, the generators will also help you in starting the second branch of your hairdressing salon, even if you’re going to combine with another person so that you can share the profits.
“This generator will make you an investor and an entrepreneur. That is empowerment. Many people misunderstand empowerment. No. it is not a dash for you to go and carry the material and sell,” he said.