Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Minister of Finance Hajiya Zainab Ahmed over the weekend empowered a total of 3,300 Kaduna women to the tune of N12 million to enable them to be self-reliant.
Distributing the empowerment starter packs and capital to the beneficiaries at the popular Musa Yar’adua indoor sport hall in Kaduna, the minister said the programme, which was in partnership with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and Buhari-El-Rufai Support Team (BEST), was aimed at supporting the women who were drawn from the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.
The empowerment packages, she said, include grinding machines, cosmetology starter pack to women who were trained on cosmetics making, and cash to business women to expand their businesses.
“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 businesses and for those with little businesses, we are giving them cash support for possible expansion of these businesses.
“This is our way of giving back to our society and put smile on the faces of women who toil everyday to take care of their family,” she added.
The minister equally donated vehicles to the All Progressive Congress (APC) Senatorial and House of Representative candidates as well as the APC campaign organisation in the state.
In a remark, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai appreciated the minister and BEST for supporting Kaduna state women with source of livelihood to better their lives, describing the gesture as the first in the history of Kaduna state, where a woman remembers her fellow women and takes step to empower them.
“This is why we are paying due attention to issues that affect the economic, social, health and general wellbeing of our women,” he said.
“We are not only ensuring that they are healthy and educated, but equally equipping them with relevant skills and financial support to live a meaningful life and contribute to social development.
“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. This amount would be increased to N400 million this year and to N800 million if we are re-elected.”
One of the beneficiaries, Hajiya Maryam Dahiru, who is a zonal women leader, appreciated the partners saying, the gesture would go a long way in her quest to be empowered in order to empower other women.