DAILY FILE – The Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed,has empowered over 3,300 women with packages worth N12 million across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.
Addressing beneficiaries at the distribution ceremoney held in Kaduna,on Saturday,Ahmed, said that the empowerment programme was in collaboration with National Directorate of Employment (NDE), who trained the beneficiaries and Buhari-El-Rufai Support Team (BEST).
She explained that that the empowerment packages include grinding machines, cosmetology starter pack to women who were trained on cosmetics making, and cash to business women to expand their businesses.
Ahmed, stressed that women empowerment was key to uplifting the living standard of women, particularly in the northern part of the country who were wallowing in poverty.
According to the minister, a self-reliant skill, a little financial support and encouragement will go a long way in ensuring financial independence of women, particularly in rural areas who are usually left behind.
Her words “Realising that our women are not benefiting from government support, I decided to encourage them to form cooperative societies and together with BEST we partnered with NDE to train them.
“Today we are giving them starter packs to help them roll-out their business and for those with little business we are giving them cash support to expand their business.
“This is our way of giving back to our society and put smiles to the faces of women who toils everyday to take care of the family.”
She said that she would partner with the Minister of Women Affairs to extend the gesture to other women across the country.
The minister also donated vehicles to the All Progressive Congress (APC) Senatorial and House of Representative candidates as well as the APC campaign organisation in the state.
According to her, the gesture is to help mobilise the people of the state for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nasir El-Rufai and all APC candidates contesting in the general election.
She called on women in the state to help mobilise their husbands, children and community members to ensure APC’s victory in the 2019 election for more dividend of democracy.
Also speaking, Governor El-Rufai commended the minister and BEST for supporting Kaduna state women with source of livelihood to better their lives.
He described the minister’s gesture as the first in the history of Kaduna state, where a woman remembers her fellow women and takes step to empower them.
According to him, half of the world’s population are women, while the other half were born by women, adding that empowering them is a sure way of achieving socio-economic development.
“This is why we are paying due attention to issues that affect the economic, social, health and general wellbeing of our women.
“We are not only ensuring that they are healthy and educated, but equally equipping them with relevant skills and financial support to live and meaningful life and contribute to social development.”
He said that the state government, through the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development, is disbursing N200 million as soft loan to women across the state to boost their businesses.
El-Rufai added that the amount would be increase to N400 million this year and to N800 million if reelected, urging the women and people of the state to vote for APC in the general election.
Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the wife of Nasarawa State Governor, Hajiya Mairo Al-Makura, also urged women of the state to give 100% support to APC and advised them against selling their votes.
Earlier, the Director General, NDE, Dr Nasir Ladan equally thanked the minister for her passion toward supporting the women of Kaduna state with N12 million empowerment package to live a quality life.
Ladan, who was represented by the North West Zonal Director, Malam Abubakar Nuhu, appealed to the beneficiaries to make the best use of the items.
Also, BEST Chairman, Gambo Kurfi said that the team would continue its village to village, house to house and door to door campaign to ensure the re-election of Buhari and El-Rufai.
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