By Chimezie Godfrey
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will support the Naval Officers’ Wives Association NOWA to empower women, children and youths through its Social Investment Programmes.
The Minister made this known when the Executive Members of the Association led by its National President and wife of the Chief of Naval Staff Hajiya Nana Aisha Gambo paid her a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Minister thanked NOWA for improving the lives of indigent women and children in the society while urging NOWA to take advantage of the social welfare initiative created by the Federal government to address poverty and help increase economic development for women, youths and children.
“Considering that the vision of both the Ministry and your Association is to improve the overall well-being of the society, particularly vulnerable groups, I believe that there are areas we can collaborate.
“Some of the clusters of the NSIP which the Naval Officers Wives Association can benefit from include the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides free interest loans to small businesses and other vulnerable economic producers to improve their economic capacity and increase local production.
“There is a GEEP desk office in every local government, so you can encourage members to apply for these loans and be beneficiaries upon successful assessment.
“Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) supports the most vulnerable by providing them with cash to reduce poverty, improve nutrition and self-sustainability. Part of the CCT is the Rural Women Cash Grant which the Ministry gives, and so far, 376 NOWA women have benefitted nationally”.
The Minister also assured that if NOWA primary schools are assessed and proven to fall under the public primary schools category, they could benefit from the National Home Grown School Feeding Program (NHGSFP) which focuses on increasing school enrollment of children and reducing malnutrition by providing free meals to school children, whilst engaging local cooks and farmers.
“The NOWA schools may wish to write to the Ministry to indicate their interest in benefitting from the school feeding programme so that they can be assessed and included in the proposed upscaling of the programme”.
Earlier, the National President of the Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) Hajiya Nana said that the association is involved in charitable projects in form of humanitarian assistance, skills acquisition and socio-economic empowerment activities, especially to indigent women and children in the society.
She noted that her Pet Project ’Clean Water’ which is to provide potable water to the vulnerable across the country has been extended to over 50 communities.
“This project was born at the realization that so many communities in Nigeria lack access to drinkable water. It is more distressing that some of these communities have been sharing the only available source of water with domestic animals in their midst.
Consequently, we decided to support the federal government by providing clean water to as many communities as possible. This is systematically designed to provide boreholes across the 36 states and the FCT. Over 50 borehole projects have been completed in various locations in Nigeria with beneficiaries in the FCT, Nassarawa, Kano, Rivers, Plateau,
Ekiti, Oyo, Abia, Edo, Cross River, Yobe and Gombe states.
Hajiya Nana stated that NOWA contributes to the socio- economic life and well being of Nigerians by providing quality education, vocational training as well as charitable activities and economic empowerment programs for women, orphans , youths amongst others and also sought the support of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in establishing a 200 bed hospital to take care of specialized medical problems of women and children in Nigeria.
“Women are mostly affected with breast Cancer, Fibroid, and Vesico Vaginal fistula VVF. This brought about the need to ask for a Centre to be dedicated to women and children within and outside the barracks. With the support of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs in providing medical and Humanitarian assistance to various people around the country, NOWA can partner in reaching out to the great needs of women and children nationwide. Hence, this is one of the reasons why we seek partnership with you to fulfill our mandate”.