From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu on Monday flagged off the disbursement of grant to 3746 women beneficiaries, to improve their livelihoods.
The grant totalling N96,413,190 was given to the women beneficiaries under the ‘Women Affinity Groups, in Maiyama, Argungu and Ngaski local governments of the state.
The funds are given under the Nigeria For Women Project, funded by the state and federal governments, as well the World Bank.
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Bagudu said that the Programme was a 15 million dollars project being implemented in six states of the federation,with one from each of the six geopolitical zones .
Bagudu stated that women in the state had since mobilized over N 400m ,just as they had organized themselves into groups.
” At the end, more than 18,000 women would benefit from the Programme and it will enhance lots of women.
“It involves the organization of women to learn and support each other, to make it sustainable.
” I am also hoping that the Programme will at the end be implemented in all the 21 local governments of the State,” the governor, added.
He said the grants is meant to support and strengthen women and boost their socio-economic activities in the state.
According to Bagudu, his administration was enjoying a cordial relationship with the legislature and it gives all the necessary support .
He appealed to political and religious leaders to ensure the involvement of their wives, to bolster the Programme.
The Progressives Governors’Forum Chairman thanked his Deputy ,rtd Col. Samaila Yombe Dabai as the Chairman State Steering Committee of the project , his team and all stakeholders for the success of the program in Kebbi State .
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Paulen Tallen appreciated the efforts of Bagudu in ensuring the successes of the Programme in the state.
Represented by Alhaji Hamisu Koko, Director, Special Duties , Tallen said that the federal and Kebbi state governments had taken bold measures to secure funding from the world bank.
She stated that the Programme was meant to improve the socio-economic livelihoods of the benefiting women and improve access to markets.
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The program she explained has trained, empowered and connected women to enhance livelihood opportunities through Women Affinity Groups and access to bigger markets.
According to her the project has a total of 11,305 Women Affinity Groups ( WAGS) nationwide with a total membership of 240,717 women.
In Kebbi State, a total of 3,746 women beneficiaries from Argungu,Maiyama and Ngaski whose business plans have been approved and would be paid today ( this Monday ), she said.
‘ Argungu have 1,876 beneficiaries, Maiyama have 823 while Ngaski have 1047 beneficiaries.
‘ These women will receive a total of N96,413,190 million. This is the first batch of this disbursement and we are grateful to everyone for the support,’ she averred.
The National Coordinator of the Programme, Mrs Ruth Peter also lauded Bagudu for providing the needed moral and financial support to the Programme.
She said,” it aims to improve the socioeconomic status of women and better their lives and those of their respective families.
She commended Kebbi women groups for their hard work and team work toward the actualisation of the program in the state.
Earlier the State Deputy Governor , Col.(rtd) Samaila Yombe Dabai who is the Chairman State Steering Committee of NFWP, said the program was designed to improve the livelihood of targeted communities in Nigeria with Kebbi State as one of the benefiting states.
He said the program was also designed to address gender inequality, poverty, empower women .
The Deputy Governor thanked Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for providing enabling environment for the implementation of the project and urged benefitting women groups to utilize the money well.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary Ministry for Women Affairs, Hajiya Aishatu Maikurata warned the beneficiaries to use the grants judiciously in order to boost their business and not to see it as gifts.
She thanked the governor for supporting the development of women in the state .