A non-governmental organisation, Voice for Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, Monday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari over attention given to women empowerment despite economic challenges.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Founder, VOLPO, Dr Ego-Queen Ezuma, said the Buhari-led administration has been focal on women’s plight since inception, and has ensured women are carried along in its programmes and projects.
According to Ezuma, during the lockdown women were seen receiving palliative including cash and also their children were still benefiting from the school feeding programme.
She also added that since the independence in 1960, women have never had such empowerment and attention from any administration until President Buhari took over the mantle of leadership in 2015, which women have been massively empowered.
She said: “We in Voice for Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, has watched keenly what is going on among women in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, and it is very welcomed and we appreciate the effort made so far for lifting Nigerian women, youths and households out of poverty under various social investment programmes.
“Sincerely there has never been this sort of programmes to lift less privileged Nigerians out of the horrible pit of poverty that other administration knew about but could not do anything to ameliorate he condition of poor Nigerians that have lost touch with good things of life as is seen and done by the Buhari-led administration.
“Looking at the carefully designed social investment programmes it falls in line with our vision and mission as an organisation.
“We commend our President for the passion and concern over the plight of women and youths after initiating the National Cash Trasfr Progamme by the President himself because he is the father of all Nigerians, and has demonstrated that since 2015 till date.
“We have seen consistency in activities of the NCTO including enrollment, trainings and cash payouts, which NCTO has reached 1,254,492 million Nigerians in different States of the federation.
“This is a programme we carefully examined and discovered that Household Uplifting Programme (HUP) also known as the Conditional Cash Transfer targets at addressing deficiencies in capacity and poor investment in human capital among poor and vulnerable households across the country.
“We saw inclusion in the programme based on the criteria and data subject to Proxy Means Testing, PMT, used for ranking poor and vulnerable Nigerians in the National Social Register, NSR.
“We could also see the impact on households, improved household consumption, increase in utilization of health and nutrition services, improved school enrollment and attendance.
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the government did not stop with the Cash Transfers, where beneficiaries received their money under the National Social Register (NSR).”
She (Ezuma) further stated that another social investment programme called Top-up has added value to the lives of vulnerable Nigerians who became beneficiaries after fulfilling certain conditions.
“This government went on to come up with another cash transfer called Top-up cash transfer, which aimed at increasing children school enrolment/attendance, improving utilization of health facilities for ante and post-natal care, child immunization and nutrition, and addressing environmental hazards to improve productive assets.
“As a result most beneficiaries who are majorly women and youths are into business and have become employers of labour, and are also expanding the economy”, she said.
She added that, “Let me make it clear that these beneficiaries were not left to themselves but were also trained at the federal, state and local government levels, where officers at the state level and local government levels were trained to train beneficiaries at the community level, which was on savings, making financial plans and engaged in viable business activities within their communities.”
Meanwhile, she assured the President of women’s support and commitment to ensure he succeeds in these programmes.
She also said women appreciate his effort to tackle challenges of insecurity, and will continue to pray insecurity is reduced to its barest minimum.
“We as women are praying for our father and President to succeed with the amazing things he is doing for women and youths in the country.
“We assure him of our support because what he is doing for women is awesome because many women now are out of poverty and are now self-employed and also helping other women to get empowered.
“We also thank him for the support he gave to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to emerge first African and woman to be the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, and also giving women the opportunity to head the Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development including other agencies and departments.
“We want to assure women that the Buhari-led administration is on their side as a lot is put in place to transform their lives and families. We also honour women who have done this country proud under the Buhari-led administration.
“We advise women not to allow their children to be used by politicians who don’t mean well for this country and their welfare because all they want is to disrupt what this administration is doing for you and your families.”