BY PHILIP NWOSU
Over 1000 wives of soldiers living in the various Nigerian Army Barracks in Lagos on Monday got palliatives ranging from cash gift to wrappers and food stuffs, as the President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Mrs. Fati Attahiru visited Lagos to interact with them.
The women drawn from 149, 192, 174 and 65 battalions, all got wrappers and cash gift of an unspecified amount.
Speaking to the women in Lagos, Mrs. Attahiru urged them to continually pray for their husbands who are engaged in the battle to dislodge insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
She said that the Nigerian Army Officer Wives Association (NAOWA) has plans to ensure that women within the barracks are kept busy by making them get engaged in meaningful empowerment scheme that will make them useful to their families.
He said that NAOWA is planning a waste to wealth programme for the women in the barrack, to enable them recycle pure water nylon and plastic bottles littering the barracks environment to items that can be used again.
Mrs. Attahiru said that efforts are also to teach the women how to spend less on some household items, adding that the NAOWA is planning to bring a company to give the women knowledge on how to re-use some items.
While demonstrating NAOWA’s will to empower the women in the barracks, the NAOWA’s President commissioned 170 open stores and 150 lockup shops in plaza inside the barracks, which she said will enable the women contribute meaningfully to the family.
The plaza which was built on built, operate and transfer basis, will be handled for 30 years by Tundaas Nigeria Limited, the developer who built the plaza.
It was learnt that the NAOWA had instructed that in the allocation of the stores and shops, 75percent of barrack women and wives of soldiers and officers should be considered, to enable a proper empowerment of the barrack women.
The Mega Plaza which is in partnership with TUNDAAS Nigeria Limited is meant to provide an avenue for the families of officers and soldiers to aspire to be shop owners and also learn to start their individual businesses.
Present during the commissioning are the GOC, Commandants of NACOL and Nigerian Army Ordinance School, Commanders, Principal Staff Officers of the Division and NAOWA Executive members.
Earlier, the National President of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) Mrs Fati Attahiru paid a visit to the headquarters of the 81 Division in Lagos and solicited the support of the General Officer Commanding 81 Division Major General Lawrence Fejokwu for her mission for the barracks community within the Division’s area of responsibility.
The NAOWA National President stated that her mission for the barracks community is to improve the quality of life of women and youth through the provision of sustainable livelihood opportunities, cleaner and greener community and superior healthcare system that cater for both physical and mental well-being. To this end, she noted that she has designed 3 programmes focusing on mental health and well-being of NA personnel and their dependents, women and youth empowerment through the establishment of sustainable livelihood programmes as well as a waste to wealth programme targeted at greening and cleaning the barracks. She promised that the 3 programmes in her mission will be replicated at division, brigade and battalion levels
Mrs Fati Attahiru further disclosed that her visit was also to acquaint herself with the activities of 81 Division Chapter of NAOWA in order to see where improvement can be made to the ongoing initiatives met on ground. She said having visited the 68 Reference hospital in Yaba, She saw what the Division NAOWA Chapter was doing to support the hospital. These include the creation of green leisure areas for patients of the A Ward and setting up alternative power source for the hospital to ensure uninterrupted power supply for the comfort of the patients. She therefore indicated her readiness to carry everyone along in the ongoing transformation.
Responding, the GOC stated that the NAOWA National President visit was one of the most prominent visits he has received since assumption of command of the Division. He therefore thanked the NAOWA National President for choosing the Division as the first for her maiden tour. The GOC further commended the National President for her diligence and improvement in the conduct of the affairs of NAOWA at the National level which is a testimony of better things to come. He therefore promised to support NAOWA in all their projects to achieve their vision and mission.