BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
The Future Assured Initiative (FAI), a project funded by the wife of the President, First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, in collaboration with the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) have empowered 1,381 Borno women and youths with starter pack kits.
The empowerment of women and less privileged was to improve their lives in communities to achieve economic freedom.
While distributing the machines and materials Thursday in Maiduguri, the state capital, NCWD’s Director-General, Hajiya Asabe Villita Bashir disclosed: “The distribution of empowerment kits is important to me. “It’s being the first engagement of the centre to address poverty and unemployment among women and the less privileged.”
The distributed empowerment kits include 116 hairdressing kits, 126 electric gen-sets, 106 barbing kits, 802 plastic chairs. Others comprise 3,400 litres of soap-making chemicals, five bags of soda, 22 sewing machines, five deep freezers and 10 grinding machines. She said that the centre established in 1992, was to empower women and the less privileged through various training programmes.
According to her, the empowerment of women through the office of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari was to enable them to become self-reliant, instead of depending on government food stamps. She noted that the self-reliance of women is in line with goal three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She added that the centre also provides skilled resources with a balanced workforce for the local economy of the state.
On challenges of poverty and unemployment in the state, she said that the distributed 1,183 empowerment kits provide economic opportunities to women, who constitute 55% of the Nigerian’s population. She noted that no responsible government will neglect the womenfolk.
While assuring the women, she said: “I’ll restructure and rebrand the national centre for women development,” adding that the distribution exercise would be optimized towards empowering the Nigerian women and less privileged.
She assured the women that the centre will also collaborate and synergize with offices of first ladies in 36 states and relevant women organisations. She warned the beneficiaries against selling the items for selfish interests. “Please use these items for the purpose intended. I beg you. Use it,” insisting that they should not trade the distributed items for money. She thanked Governor Babagana Zulum for hard work and taking leadership as a service for humanity. Dr Asabe described Zulum as the most popular Governor in Nigeria. “God will answer the clarion calls of all Nigerians to make Zulum the number one citizen of the country,” she said.
The wife of Borno State Governor, Dr Falmata Babagana Zulum who represented the First Lady in her brief remarks, said that the beneficiaries were selected among thousands of women and youths to improve their livelihoods in communities affected by over a decade of insurgency.
She also reiterated that the beneficiaries should not sell the distributed empowerment kits to improve their living conditions. While lamenting destroyed means of livelihoods; she said: “We should pray for the nation and leaders during the Ramadan fast to restore the lost glory.”