NFWP: Women Affairs Minister assures Niger women of support
Minister of Women Affairs, Barr. Uju Kennedy, has assured Women Affinity Groups (WAGs) under the Nigeria For Women Project (NFWP) that her ministry will give them more support to empower their members.
The Minister stated this while interacting with some WAG members at Abuchi Koro and Izom communities in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State on Thursday.
She said her ministry has a lot of programmes lined up to empower the women to be self-reliant and support their families.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the National Coordinator of NFWP, Mrs. Ruth Mishelia, expressed happiness with the way the women came together to form a group to support themselves.
"I am happy to see you coming together to help yourselves in this manner. Let me say that I am really impressed with what you are doing.
"You know, we just came on board, but I am assuring you that the ministry has a lot of programmes that we will use to support you," said the minister.
While addressing members of the groups as well, the Deputy Governor of the state, who is also the Chairman of the Project Steering Committee, Comrade Yakubu Garba, urged the groups to utilise the opportunity and help themselves and their families.
He noted that women were better managers of resources than men in a family setting, urging the men to support their women to succeed, which, according to him, will benefit the entire family.
He expressed appreciation to the honourable minister and her entourage for finding time to come and interact with the women's groups just a few days after her assumption of office.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state coordinator of the project, Mohammed Sarki Bello, informed the minister and her entourage that WAG is a group of women with income-generating activities, adding that to be a member, a woman is expected to have an income-generating activity and be 18 years of age or older.
He disclosed that the target of the project in Niger State was about 54,000 beneficiaries but that they ended up capturing about 75,000 women, saying Gurara Local Government has over 23,000.
Sarki Bello added that each of the beneficiaries in the first phase of the project was given a N60,000 cash grant, while those in the second phase got N30,000 due to the scaling up of the number of beneficiaries.
He also explained that members of each WAG hold weekly meetings and make savings, from which members of the group are given soft loans to support their businesses.
The Council Chairman of Gurara Local Government, Hon. Abdualim Abubakar Bonu, appreciated the Minister and her entourage, as well as the Deputy Governor, for taking their time to be with them, saying the people of Gurara Local Government will continue to support federal and state government programmes and policies.
There was a practical demonstration of how the women hold their weekly meetings and also a display of some products of the businesses the groups engage in.
The minister also made a cash donation to the groups to support their businesses.