By Blessing Bature-Akpakpan,
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has flagged off the disbursement of N20,000 cash grant to 2,700 poor women selected from all the local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary Bashir Nura Alkali, the Minister said, “the grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries. It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to generally contribute towards improving their living standard by using the fund as seed to boost their trade and business for greater income and not to see it as their own share of the so-called National Cake.”
The Deputy Director Information, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya said in a statement that a cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Our target in Akwa Ibom State is to disburse the grant to about 2,700 beneficiaries across all Local Government Councils. The grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries”.
The Minister said that, “With the complementary effort of the State Government, the target beneficiaries will all be adequately covered within the next few days. I am optimistic that with the support and cooperation of His Excellency Chief Udom Emmanuel and other stakeholders present here, we will remain on track to improving the livelihood of the ordinary Nigerians. To the beneficiaries, let me however reiterate that this money belongs to you and you alone. It is meant for you to use in any small business venture you deem fit and that will improve your lives. Please ensure that you use it for this purpose.”
The Deputy Governor represented by the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Welfare Dr. Ini Adiakpan, expressed gratitude to the federal government for the various National Social Investment Programmes saying, “it has gone a long way to cushion the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and solicited for more grants to include more women and also hopes for more programmes of this nature.”
The state’s Focal Person on Social Investment Programme, Dr. Godwin Akpan, described the exercise as timely and germane as it seeks economic empowerment to rural women, solicited for the inclusion of the youth and men in subsequent programmes.
A beneficiary Mrs. Caroline Usen, expressed her joy for being selected for the grant, adding that she has been hearing of government giving grants but felt it was for a section of the country.
Earlier, during a courtesy visit on the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Moses Expo, the Minister applauded the Governor, his Executive Council and the State focal Person for joining in the flag off and the preparations made towards the success of the event.
The Deputy Governor, Moses Expo, expressed gratitude to Mr President and the Minister for empowering the women of the state to improve their livelihood while soliciting for more slots for the state in subsequent programmes to be able to touch the lives of more people.