From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The federal government at the weekend disbursed N20 million in cash grants to rural women in Abia rural, each recipient getting N20,000. The disbursement was witnessed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Alhaji Bashir Nura Alkali.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the federal cash grants for rural women in Abia, Alkali, representing Minister Hajjiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the federal government’s various intervention programmes have impacted positively on the poor across the country.
The Perm Sec said during the exercise, N20 million would be disbursed to about 25,000 rural women drawn from across the 17 local government areas of the state, adding that the money would help in bettering the lives of the recipients.
‘The money should not be seen as the sharing of the so-called national cake, but should be put to proper use […] to lift the beneficiaries out of poverty, which is what President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at when he introduced this programme and others like it,’ he stated.
Abia Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu, representing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, expressed joy that the cash grants, which is part of the federal initiative to aid rural women, had taken off in the state.
According to the Deputy Governor, the governor appreciated the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in alleviating the hardships of impoverished Nigerians and promised that the state government would always partner with the federal government for this purpose.
Earlier, the SSA to the Governor on Social Investment and Intergovernmental Affairs, Chinenye Nwaogu, said Governor Ikpeazu has positioned Abia to harvest from the federal government’s numerous interventionist programmes.
‘Strategic partnerships amongst governments are necessary to ensure the people at all levels benefit from all well-intentioned objectives of governments,’ he stated.
‘The Cash Grant for Rural Women Programme is envisioned and packaged to empower rural women with a seed capital grant of N20,000 each. This is part of the federal government initiatives aimed at women empowerment.’
He thanked the President for his Social Investment Programme which he pledged to use to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty and promised that Abia would benefit from the programmes.
A representative of women with disabilities thanked the Buhari administration for establishing the National Commission for People with Disabilities, adding that the present cash grants to some of them were another of the government’s way of remembering the underprivileged.