Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Multi-Purpose Business Cooperative Union, comprising of women from across the 21 local government areas of the state, have begun a training programme in the production of face masks as part of strategies to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
A total of 100 women were selected and participated in a workshop aimed at boosting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajita Aisha Muhammed Maikurata, who stated this in her remarks at the workshop, charged the women to take precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said it was because of the current global crisis that the Wife of the Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, felt it necessary to find a cost-effective and quick way of producing vast numbers of face masks in the state.
She said that the women after the training can hand-sew face masks to protect their families and also train others in their community.
The Chairperson of the Cooperative, Hajiya Hajara Yusuf Kangiwa, in her remarks, explained that the workshop was designed to sensitise the participants on preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the participants to be dedicated, stressing that the outcome of the training would help in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Kebbi First Lady Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, who attended the last session of the workshop, commended the organisers as well as the participants, urging them to stay clean and practice the face mask making at home to boost their incomes and prevent community transmission of the COVID-19 disease.
At the training workshop, general hygiene and awareness on COVID-19 sessions were held, with each participant presented with a start-up kit with materials to make up to 20 masks, a bag of rice as well as a certificate of skill acquisition.
Some of the women who spoke on behalf of other participants expressed gratitude to the First Lady, commending her for her efforts in public awareness and empowerment carried out by her office.
Hon Zahrau Wali, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Development, in her closing remarks, reiterated the need to step up the training to achieve immunity in Kebbi just like the people of Japan have done.
She Instructed that from time to time the stakeholders would be monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the women who attended the workshop.
She advised them to abide by all health and safety precautions to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.