By Peter Uwumarogie
ActionAid Nigeria, a non governmental organisation, has urged the Gombe State Government and other stakeholders to increase support for projects aimed at empowering citizens of the state.
The Country Director of the organisation, Ene Obi made the appeal in Gombe on Thursday during the close-out ceremony of the Local Rights Programme (LRP) being implemented in three local government areas of the state.
Obi said the LRP through execution of viable projects had transformed lives and communities since inception in 2006.
Represented by Suwaiba Dankabo, Director of Programmes, ActionAid, Obi said the programme empowered individuals with essential skills and capacities which enabled them to engage with political and institutional power structures.
She said that before the commencement of the programme, women were not given the importance they deserved in decision-making processes and that affected them.
She said through ActionAid’s intervention, the disparity between women and men had been bridged.
Obi said that: “We have been able to promote gender equality, women’s rights and ensuring inclusivity and human rights.
“Our departure from Gombe State does not mark the end of ActionAid’s commitment to the people of this great state.
“We remain friends of the communities and partner in development to the state.
“I also use this as an opportunity for us to call upon the state government and various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (NDAs), to sustain the projects we have implemented.
“I urge the state government to listen to the voices of the communities and prioritise the rights and wellbeing of its citizenry.
“The progress we made together is a testament to what can be achieved when people are empowered to take charge of their lives and communities. Let us continue this journey and build upon the foundation we have laid.
“I call upon all stakeholders to support and sustain the projects that have been initiated under the Local Rights Programme”.
Also speaking, Mrs Serah Yapwa, the Chief Executive Officer, Hope for the Lonely Foundation described the impact of LRP as a “significant milestone”.
Yapwa said the programme helped in improving girl-child education in the participating communities.
She commended ActionAid for the partnership, and urged the benefitting communities to sustain the projects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LRP is being implemented by the ActionAid in collaboration with Hope for the Lonely Foundation and Joint National Association of Persons with Disability in Shongom, Billiri and Funakaye LGAs.
It aimed at improving the socio-economic status of poor women, men and children by mobilising communities and building their capacities. (NAN)