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Empowerment: Ondo riverine communities organise economic summit for women



The Amalgamation of Ilaje Ugbo Coastal Communities Association (AMAICOMMA) in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State, on Wednesday, organised economic summit for women in the area.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the summit, which was held at Ode Ugbo, in the council area, captured series of lectures on economic activities to broaden the knowledge of the participants.

Mrs Titilayo Adeyemi, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, described the women from the area as industrious, saying that they must be equipped with the needed information to make them economically viable.

Adeyemi assured the women of government’s readiness to undertake any programme aimed at uplifting them in the state.

She urged the women to take the summit seriously so that it could have the desired impacts on them and their homes, adding “women are versatile and they must use it to their own advantage.”

The commissioner tasked the women to be submissive to their husbands and be of good conduct for better homes.

According to her, they should protect their children so that they will not be victims of bad societal influence.

In his address, the Chairman of AMAICOMMA, Mr Pius Orisabinone, said that the summit was an eye opener for the participating women to use the peculiarities of the area for their own economic benefits.

Orisabinone noted that women were indispensable in any family setting, saying that they were builders who must be encouraged and empowered to bring out their potentials for the betterment of the society.

Mrs Omofele Adeokan, a gender focal person, said that the turnout for the summit was overwhelming.

Adeokan stated that the summit was aimed at informing the participants of their importance in the society and help them to manifest their abilities.

She added that the summit had taught them how to make money and be financially independent.

Mrs Funmi Adeojo of the Ondo State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who gave a talk on “Harnessing Economic Opportunities in Ondo State and its Environs”, encouraged the participants to learn best ways of packaging their goods.

Adeojo added that packaging would attract more customers and increase income, enjoining the participants to enrol their children in various skill acquisitions in addition to their education.

Similarly, Mrs Yetunde Iyaomolere, who gave a lecture on “Dynamism of Cooperative Groups”, encouraged the participants to join cooperative societies in order to source for loans without the usual bottlenecks encountered in commercial banks.

Iyaomolere noted that loan benefitted from such cooperative societies usually attracted little interests, saying it would save them from any embarrassment and reproach that might arise from their inability to pay back at the agreed time.

In his lecture entitled “Accessing Business Linkages and Appropriate Technological Support”, a financial expert, Mr Abayomi Das, urged the participants to show deep interest in their business ventures.

Das stated that they must introduce modern innovations to their ventures and keep proper records of their proceedings.

He cautioned them against dipping their hands on their business running capital for personal needs.

Two of the participants, Mrs Daisi Oke and Mrs Iyabo Omotehinse, who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency , described the summit as enlightening and impactful.

They said that if strictly adhered to, the issues addressed at the summit would enable them to sustain themselves and their families, while also creating job opportunities.


Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq


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We stemmed militancy in Delta through infrastructure, youth empowerment – Okowa



Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Tuesday, said that his government was able to halt hostilities and militancy in coastal communities in the state through infrastructural transformation and youth empowerment.
The governor, who spoke in a live programme via Skype, said that solution to hostilities in the Niger Delta remained the provision of infrastructure and youth empowerment.
Okowa said that the provision of basic amenities, such as roads, bridges and other infrastructure, stemmed the hitherto incessant hostilities in the riverine communities of the state.
He recalled that on assumption of office in 2015, when the country was undergoing recession, coupled with security challenges in oil-producing communities, he braved the odds by embarking on projects with direct bearing on the lives of the people.
Okowa said that a committee, headed by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, brokered peace that brought the attacks on national assets, like oil pipelines, to a halt.
The governor said that what the coastal communities lacked previously was infrastructural development.
Okowa assured that more projects would be executed within the limit of funds available to the state government for development.
“We have been in good communication with our people; we engage all stakeholders and ensure that they understand the need for us to give peace a chance.
“As at today, a lot of our youths have been engaged in intelligence work and in other aspects of governance, while some of them are also being trained.
“They are beginning to see a lot of things from proper perspectives and they are happy about it.
“Secondly, we have done a lot of construction of infrastructure in the various riverside areas, which have enabled them to buy into our programmes on peace.
“A lot of roads have been constructed in various areas like Okerenkoko, Oporoza, Burutu and Ogulaha; these are all oil-producing communities.
“In Ogidigben, we are also doing road construction and these are things they never saw before, and because they saw development being brought into their places, they began to see the need to cooperate with government to ensure peace and for more development to take place.
“The deputy governor led a stakeholders’ committee to engage the people and we also have the advisory committee of the state, made up of very prominent members in the state.
”They all did great jobs as opinion leaders, engaging the people,” Okowa said.
The governor added that traditional rulers and various youth formations had also been engaged, adding that this had helped a lot.
”More importantly, our people have begun to see that it is possible to bring development to their areas.
“When they start to see it, then there will be no need to continue with disruption of oil facilities; the whole thing was going on before because the people felt neglected, even when they were producing the oil.
“There is no neglect at the moment,as they are seeing a lot of infrastructural developments,” he said.
On the judicial and legislative autonomy, Okowa hailed the executive order recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that it had long become a law in the state.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Taraba lawmaker distributes N30m empowerment items to constituents



Alhaji Mohammed Bashir, member representing Nguroje Constituency in the Taraba House of Assembly, has distributed about N30 million worth of empowerment materials to people in the constituency.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items included 60 motorcycles, 54 grinding machines, 54 sewing machines and four cars.

Bashir also announced in Nguroje while distributing the items, the sponsorship of two people to perform pilgrimage in Mecca and Jerusalem.

He also doled out textile products and N5,000 cash to each of  the 140 executive members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Magu, Kakara, Nguroje and Ndumyaji wards.

Bashir, who is also the Minority Leader of the assembly, said the gesture was to boost economic activities among the people.

The legislator added that while a motorcycle was given to each of the 52 polling units of  the constituency, the grinding and sewing machines were distributed to mainly women and youths to reduce unemployment and redundancy.

Bashir identified poverty and unemployment as some of the major causes of youth restiveness, and pledged to explore more avenues to enhance the productivity of women and youths in the area.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, an elder in the area, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello thanked the lawmaker for the gesture and urged him to remain a good ambassador of the area.

Also, the APC women leader in the constituency, Hajiya Hadiza Gurgu, expressed appreciation to the member for including “a large number of women as beneficiaries of the kind gesture”.

NAN reports that the occasion was held in strict observance to social distancing guidelines, while safety tips against COVID-19 were disseminated to the people.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Zamfara unveils empowerment scheme for 1, 000 SMEs 



Zamfara State Government  says it has  initiated empowerment programme to support 1, 000 Small Medium  Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and petty traders under its Social Intervention Programme (Z-SIP).

Mubarak Muradun, Secretary of the Z-SIP programme, made the disclosure while reviewing progress of the programme on Monday in Gusau.

Maradun said that arrangement has been concluded to commence disbursement of N10 million to 1, 000 traders and SMEs. adding that Gov.  Bello Matawalle had already approved the project expected to commence soon.

“Each of the 1, 000 beneficiaries will received  N10, 000 monthly under the programme.

“The gesture aims at supporting small scale traders in the state to enhance their businesses.

“This is inline with efforts of the present administration in the state to reduce poverty and unemployment among people of the the state,”  he.

He urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the monies  to achieve the desired goals.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Rabiu Sani Ali

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African Development Bank Group approves Gender Equality Trust Fund and Risk-Sharing Mechanism to improve women’s economic empowerment in Africa




The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group ( have approved a new Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) aimed at pushing forward gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.

Funded by donors, the GETF will support the delivery and scale-up of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme and promote gender transformative lending and non-lending operations. It is the first thematic fund on gender in the Bank Group’s history. The Fund will be established for an initial period of 10 years.

AFAWA is the Bank’s flagship pan-African initiative which aims to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa. Through AFAWA, the Bank is spearheading a major push to unlock women’s entrepreneurial capacity and economic participation for maximum development impact.

Also on Tuesday 31 March, the Board of Directors of the Bank approved a Risk-Sharing Mechanism – an innovative financial instrument to de-risk women-empowered businesses, enhance their profile with banks and support them to grow and thrive as entrepreneurs.

Anchor investors in the GETF are the governments of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“It’s a great day for us as a Bank. It is a great day for the continent and the women of Africa as this facility provides innovative ways to tackle the access to finance challenges for African women business owners,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.

The Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) has been chosen as the first implementing partner to facilitate access to finance for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). AGF is a pan-African entity that provides financial institutions with guarantees and other financial products to support SMEs in Africa. AGF has a network spread out over 42 African countries and 150-plus financial institutions, which AFAWA will leverage. This first transaction is expected to unlock up to $2 billion in credit for women-empowered businesses across the continent.

Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society, described the approval as “the largest effort ever to bridge the gap in access to finance for women in Africa’s history” and said the Fund’s resources and the Risk-Sharing Mechanism would prioritize women’s economic empowerment and high-impact women’s initiatives.

Moungar said the partnership with AGF is a starting point for mobilizing other financial institutions and increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs on the continent.

Apart from the G7 donors and the Netherlands, other countries are showing strong interest in contributing to the initiative, including Rwanda and Sweden. The Bank Group will continue to mobilize resources in order to unlock $5 billion worth of financing for women-empowered businesses in Africa. AFAWA is also an implementing partner of the Women Entrepreneurship Finance (We-Fi) Initiative.

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ITF distributes empowerment kits to 300 graduates in Sokoto



Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has distributed starter packs to 300 graduates of skill acquisition training programme to enable them set up their businesses in Sokoto.

Inuwa Samaila, ITF Area Manager in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi States, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Sokoto.

Samaila disclosed that the beneficiaries drawn from 24 local government areas of the state, participated in the 2019 skill acquisition programmes of the Fund.

He said the graduates were exposed to various trades during the training exercise ranging between three and six months.

The manager listed the trades to include event management, shoe and bag making, electrical installations, beauty and auto care.

Samaila noted that the Fund paid N5, 000 monthly stipend to the beneficiaries as transport allowances during the training exercise, adding that the starter packs were provided based on the skills of the graduates.

He urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the skills acquired and kits by engaging in productive activities, stressing that being self employed pays better than waiting for white collar jobs.

The manager warned against diversion of the kits, saying that the Fund had adopted proactive mechanism to monitor activities of the beneficiaries.

“We conducted training for 300 participants and we give them starter parks according to the training areas.

“In catering and event management, we train 80 women for three months. We also train 80 women in shoes and bag making for six months.

”We also train another 60 people in domestic electrical installation while others in auto and beauty care,” he said.

Samaila said the participants were selected in a joint collaboration between the Fund and the Sokoto State Ministry of Youths and Sport Development.

According  to him, the Fund accord premium to unemployed youths between 18 and 35- years for training under the programme.

Samaila added that ITF also initiated programmes for graduates of universities and tertiary institutions of education as well as those that never attend school.

“We give curriculum for each trainer and also supervise them to ensure that all required materials for the training is judiciously used and knowledge impacted,” he added.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Rabiu Sani Ali


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Oyo trains 500 youths for Tony Elumelu empowerment programme



Oyo State Government on Friday commenced training of 500 youths on application drive that would enable them secure 5,000 dollar seed capital from Tony Elumelu Empowerment Programme (TEEP).

Speaking with newsmen in Ibadan at the training session, Mr Kazeem Bolarinwa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths and Sports, said the trainees  were entrepreneurs in different professions.

He said the programme aimed to reduce youths unemployment and improve the economy of the state.

Bolarinwa said the training would give the applicants advantage of accessing the TEEP seed money ahead of others.

He added that the programme was designed to fund entrepreneurs and engage youths in various vocational occupations.

Mr Timi Olagunju, Co-Convener of the initiative in Oyo state,  disclosed that over 1,200 youths applied for the training but could only admit 500 youths due to the outbreak of Coronavirus disease.

He said that the training would be conducted among 50 youths per batch to avoid overcrowding.

Olagunju, however, said the remaining 700 applicants, who would not participate physically in the training, can access it through twitter handle, YouTube and other available channel to be provided.

He further said  the training would  provide opportunity for young entrepreneurs interested in going into professions such as Construction, Fashion Industry, Telecommunication, ICT among others

The Chief Trainer of the Project, Miss Fiyinfolu Olajola, said the foundation secured over 1,000 job opportunities for youths in the state and hoped to achieve more at the end of the training.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Group makes case for youths empowerment to reduce restiveness



Comrade Samuel Yakubu-Alkali, Coordinator of the Group, “Nasarawa Got Talents” on Friday, appealed to intensify efforts    on youth development and empowerment in order reduce restiveness in the state.

Yakubu-Alkali made the appeal  during the maiden audition of Nasarawa Got Talents for 2020, in Lafia.

According to him, it is imperative to develop, mentor and empower talented young people to become useful for themselves and the society, considering numbers of youths that get into social vices such as drug abuse, cultism, prostitution, stealing and gambling among others.

He noted that most young people were endowed with potential and talents  looking for the platform  to showcase them to the world.

He added that Nasarawa International Festival in collaboration with the Like Minds Entertainment had provided the umbrella to bring the talented young people together by organising “Nasarawa got Talents” to help them realise their potential.

“The essence of this audition is to enable youths to showcase their talents, it will also help us to identify these talents, and also develop and mentor them in order to add value to the society.

“We don’t have financial capacity to empower all these talented young people, we are appealing to government of Nasarawa State, Corporate bodies and wealthy individuals to support us in order to empower them.

“We commend Gov. Abdullahi Sule for believing so much in youths, and also for keying into entrepreneurship programmes, and when the skills acquisition centre becomes operational, it will help to reduce youths unemployment,” he said.

Earlier, Aisha Akwanga, one of the members of the Organisers, said she was impressed by the performance of the young talents.

He added that such platform helped them to identify talents so as to support them whatever way possible.

Some participants who spoke with Nigeria News Agency , Precious David and Abdulmalik Elkesim, expressed appreciation to the organisers of the event for coming up with the platform to showcase their talents.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey and Isaac Ukpoju

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FG reiterates commitment on equal economic empowerment for women



The Federal Government has promised to establish policies that would economically empower women to compete favourably in governance.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki gave the assurance in a statement by Eric Ojiekwe, Head, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation on Wednesday, Abuja.

Saraki spoke when she received the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen in the capital territory.

She thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari for finding women worthy of key appointments in the country.

She expressed optimism that the President would ascribe more responsibilities to women, taking into consideration feats achieved by them in fields of governance, science, private practice and businesses.

The minister advocated the prototype practiced in America whereby women were given certain percentage of government contracts to empower them.

According to her, it is not only pertinent but the right thing to do as women do not only pay taxes but were professionals in all fields of endeavour.

“Lots of women and men inclusive do not know how to apply for contracts, and there was need to provide enlightenment in that regard,’’ the minister said.

She urged the Tallen to create a gender desk in the Ministry of Women Affairs to tackle the issue.

However, the minister recalled that the celebration of women which was scheduled to take place in Beijing to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference was disrupted by Coronavirus outbreak.

She said that March 26 to March 28 had been decided to mark the celebration of women in Nigeria, adding that it would be an honour to have Saraki in attendance.

She said that the celebration would provide an avenue to galvanise and address women and girl-child issues while proffering the way forward.

She urged women to support their female colleagues, adding that they should not forget to give back to the society through empowerment schemes.

Tallen called on the women to use their positions to support the girl child who were particularly vulnerable in the society.

The minister was accompanied on the courtesy call by various directors within her ministry and also the Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ).

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ekemini Ladejobi

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CSOs grant 6 youth-based organisations N14m for empowerment



Connected Development (CODE) in partnership and  Christian Aid on Friday granted six youth based organisations N14.1 million to deliver on innovative solutions to identified challenges within their communities.

Chief Executive of CODE, Hamzat Lawal at a news conference in Abuja, said that Christian Aid, CODE and Youth Hub collaborated to inaugurate Nationwide Youth Challenge Fund for supporting youths.

Lawal said that this was borne out of   the groups concern by the marginalisation of young people in governance structure in Nigeria.

He  said that the project sought to increase youth participation in community development and ensure that they become partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thereby enhancing inclusivity in national development.

Nigeria News Agency | reports that the six organisations that made it out of the 126 entries received are Foundation for Equitable and Sustainable Human Advancement (FESHA),and Justice Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC).

Others are Women and Children in Support of Community Development Initiative (WOCCI-Nig),Hope for Family Development Initiative (HFDI), Spotlight for Transparency and Accountability Initiative and Access to Learning and Schools (ATLAS).

“We thought of how to work to ensure we create an enabling environment for young people to strive across Nigeria, so Christian Aid recently launched her strategies on poverty, power and prophetic voice.

“A lot of young people always say they don’t have resources to bring their ideas to fruition so what we did was to launch a nationwide youth challenge fund with Christian Aid providing 30,000 which CODE will sub-let to selected organisations.

“We did a national call to collect entries and we got 126 from the 36 states of Nigeria and our selection committee picked six people from each geopolitical zone in Nigeria,” he said.

Lawal said the group believed that the project would increase youth participation in community development and ensure that young people became partners and leaders in the development of Nigeria.

He, however, called on the government to fulfil its obligation to youths by increasing youth participation in policies that affect young people support by paying attention to youths who are 66 per cent of the population them .

“We believe that if the Nigerian government can also support initiatives like this it could scale rapidly; especially now that the corona virus is crippling economies and dropping crude oil price to about 25 dollar per barrel.

“Nigeria’s budget benchmark is pegged at 57 dollar or so per barrel so we have an economic crisis waiting to happen but if the government can stop fuel subsidy and divert the money to empower young people with skills education they will  contribute to Nigeria’s GDP,” he said

Ms  Adebola Adeeko, Programme Officer, Communications, Christian Aid said that her organisation exist to create a world free of poverty  and worked in the areas of good governance ,health and humanitarian responses.

Adeeko said that the organisation recognised development as a critical area in Nigeria and also  knew that there were lots of youths with potential to bring sustainable change to their own community.

Mr Agboola Akinola, Programme Assistant Education Youth Hub Africa, said that the partnership among the three organisations was a thing of joy because it connected with their thematic areas of youth development.

Akinola said that the selection team did a great job by picking organisations from different sectors of the economy ranging from agriculture and education technology, among others.

He said all the 126 entries received were fantastic ideas but due to lack of fund they could not be taken and therefore called on the government to support such initiatives to cover many organisations.

He urged the successful organisations to be diligent and to make judicious use of the grant adding that “ the moment you jeopardise this then you are jeopardising the chances of so many other organisations out there’’.

Responding, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Joseph Suru, commended the organisations for the grant and assured them of the organisations’ commitment to delivering on the projects.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan

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