Paul Obi in Abuja
Citizens Health, Education and Development Initiatives (CHEDI) and World Bank staff have empowered 40 women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in various skill acquisition and trades.
The empowerment was a collaborative effort by CHEDI and staff of World Bank’s Nigerian Country Office to assist women through interventions such as training and skill acquisition.
Speaking at the training’s graduation ceremony at Durumi, Abuja, Executive Director of CHEDI, Selina Akunna Enyioha explained that the empowerment was geared towards reducing poverty among women across the capital city.
She stated that with CHEDI, the aim is provide proper skill acquisition, adding that, “some people claim they have skill acquisition training, but when they go there, there is nothing to show for it.
“We budgeted to train 30 participants and empower only 8 of them due to paucity of funds, but we ended up training 40 participants because it was a very difficult task for our staff to stop others who wanted to join the training.
“We wish we had more funds to accommodate all that had wanted to be trained. Based on the advice of our training consultants and also to encourage all the 40 participants, they are all to receive certificates of participation, while the 30 originally chosen participants will be empowered.
Enyioha said, “This was not really easy, but we have to over-stretch ourselves to ensure that we empower all the 30 trained participants. It was not easy setting out and abiding by the criteria for the selection of those to be empowered, as all the participants demonstrated serious commitment to the programme.
“Consequently, we have invited SMEDA and the Central Bank of Nigeria responsible for supporting small scale businesses to talk to us on how to go about sourcing funds to start and sustain these skills we have just taught you for these three weeks.
“You will also recall that our health consultant sensitised you on the importance of taking care of your children for routine immunisation, family planning and ante-natal care services.
“CHEDI staff boosted the programme by adding HIV counselling services. Our target was 300 persons but we tested 328. Those who tested positive have been referred to our partner health facility for further treatment and care,” Enyioha maintained.
A staff of World Bank, Gloria Joseph-Raji urged the women to deploy their skills to ensuring poverty is extinct from their households. She commended the efforts of CHEDI and partners in putting up the skill acquisition programme for the women.
Also Speaking, Senior Manager, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Njideka Nwabukwu tasked the women to embrace CBN’s grants aimed at women to promote entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.
Nwabukwu called for more concerted efforts in assisting women to overcome poverty and economic hardship.
Mrs. Dorcas Barau, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiary of the empowerment programme, commended CHEDI and staff members of the World Bank for their enormous support to women in Durumi District.