Women empowerment took centre stage on Wednesday in Suleja when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment empowered 7, 140 women and youths through various vocational training in an effort to build and improve their lives.
The move was also part of the Minister’s effort at giving back to the society and cushioning the effect of poverty among women and children in Niger State.
Bwari represented by his wife, Hannatu Bwari, at the elaborate ceremony in Suleja, where starter packs for beneficiaries of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) programme on skill training were distributed, she explained that the start-up packs contained basic materials for soap making and pomade making to enable them practically put to use skills learnt in the course of their cosmetology business training.
Startup capital was given to each beneficiary as take-off grant alongside the start-up packs.
According to her, the empowerment programme was organized among other reasons to reduce the rate of unemployment, make people self-reliant and ensure financial independence among women, especially those in their twenties.
Mrs Bwari told the beneficiaries to see the gesture as the beginning of their journey to self-employment. She also urged them to continue to show more commitment and hard work in order to become employers of labour.
“As cosmetologists, you have all received trainings in liquid soap making, hair shampoo making, pomade making, antiseptic production, air freshener production and other diverse areas where your services are needed on a regular basis. It is now left for each of you to prove yourselves by the way you go about your businesses,” she said.
Women Leader of Gurara Local Government, Halima Usman, expressed gratitude for the gesture, saying “he did well and really tried. I won’t stop praying for him with what he has done for us. I assure him that Insha Allah, all these women including me will never let him down.”
The Women leader of Tafa local government, Memuna Dauda, also said: “we are so grateful for what he did for us and it is our prayer that God will increase him more and more and enlarge his coast in Jesus name. It is also our prayer that as he is doing this, God will replenish his pocket.”
Director General, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Engr. Umar Hassan, who represented the minister advised the beneficiaries to always refer back to their notes in order to continue to update themselves in their trades.
“The Minister has asked me to plead with you not to take lightly all that you have learnt in the programme because it marks the beginning of your journey to financial empowerment and self-development. Please always refer back to your notes to ensure that you avoid unnecessary mistakes and confusion. Always strive to be on the tight track.” He said.
The Director General, National Directorate of Employment, represented by Engr. Abdullahi Babaminin Muhammed reiterated federal government’s plan to empower women and youths to enable them become future employers of labour.
“You are being empowered and armed with skills today to enable you become self-sufficient and future employers of labour. The certificates you are given today after your training and start up token is to enable you put to practice skills learnt. By these certificates, you are qualified to apply for loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to develop your businesses.”
The women were beneficiaries of the Quick Win Vocational Skill training organised by the National Directorate of Employment in collaboration with the Abubakar Bawa Bwari Women Empowerment Scheme.