John Adams Minna
After 32 years on the drawing board, Niger State Government, yesterday, commissioned a new orphanage in Minna, the state capital.
Construction of the 52-capacity orphanage was started by the military administration of former Brigadier General David Mark, in 1987, after they realised that the existing one located at “F Layout “ area of Minna had become inadequate to accommodate the inmates and play other roles.
The new orphanage, which has well furnished hostels, is also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and Information Technology ICT centre.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, while inaugurating the orphanage, said the completion of the home was in fulfilment of his resolve to ensure that the less fortunate in the society are equally given sense of belonging and are made to live in a comfortable ambiance.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the facility, the governor directed the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to engage the services of a reputable non-governmental organisation to manage the newly commissioned Government Orphanage.
“For this project to remain a legacy of this administration, we have to ensure that we are able to sustain this orphanage. It can not be left in the hands of government officials, because successive administrations may not have same priorities for the facility like we have.
“It is with this in mind that we are considering the engagement of a reputable non-govetnmental organization that can have access to development partners who are willing to invest in the orphanage. This facility is a job well done and the least we can do, is to ensure its maintainance “.
Bello also called for the control in the number of staff involved in running the orphanage with a view of nurturing the affairs of the home as appropriate.
The governor who did not mention the cost of the project, however promised that the administration will continue to give the home the needed support in the interest of the inmates.
Bello said the inmates require every assistance they could get from both the government and the public to enable them live “ normal lives”.
Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Amina Musa Gwam, in an address, said the orphanage currently has 52 inmates with 17 of them pursuing their education in boarding schools across the state.
One of the inmates, Mrs Musa Gwam, recently got married; after staying for about 28 years at the orphanage.
“We built a house for him and his wife where they are staying now”.
The Commissioner also disclosed that another inmate had graduated from the Zungeru Polytechnic and had been employed by the state government.
Mrs Amina Gwam urged the state government to provide the orphanage with an 18 seater bus for movement of inmates and approval for the recruitment of more cleaners to keep the home clean.