Joy unspeakable as Abia women benefits from Nigeria for Women Project.

Abia State government has improved the livelihood of Abia women in the three pilot local Government Areas of Isiala Ngwa North, Obingwa and Ohafia by paying about three (3) billion naira to Abia women through the Nigeria for Women Project, a project designed to improve the livelihood of women.

Nigeria for Women Project which exist in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria namely – North-west (Taraba State); North-east (Kebbi State); North- central (Niger State); South-west (Ogun State); South-south (Akwa Ibom State); and South-east (Abia State), is a World Bank Assisted Project that is counterpart funded by the Government.

Interacting with newsmen, the Abia State Project Coordinator, Mrs Chinenye Amos- Uhegbu said that the Project formed women into Women Affinity Groups (WAGs), as a platform to achieve the project objectives.

According to her, “Because of the success story we gathered from these women who are petty traders, artisans, seamstresses among others, and are in WAGs, the Project is now into Collectives. For Collectives, we aggregate the women who are already in the WAGS into groups between a hundred and two hundred and that forms one Collective. This Collective is meant to sustain the livelihood that is already improved”, Uhegbu explained.

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She disclosed that the women, who are in the Collectives were further grouped into two value chains of Cassava processing and Palm oil processing and added that the women have gone on exposure visits to Integrated Cassava processing plant Umuobiakwa, in Obingwa L.G.A; and Oil processing plant Umuagwo in Imo State respectively.

She appreciated the State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti for being Gender sensitive, providing funds to pay off the grant and equally paid 450 million naira as Counterpart fund for the scale up of the next phase of the Project, which comes up after June.

On his part while answering questions from newsmen, one of the Project champions and a village head from Umuomainta- Nbawsi ward 10, Pastor Nnamdi Aliche, expressed delight that Nigeria for Women Project has positively impacted and empowered about 90 percent of the rural women, who prior to the project were without hope and solely dependent on their husbands for financial help.

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He disclosed that the Community has also assisted the Project by releasing land for free for the realization of the Project’s objectives.

Earlier, the representative of Nigeria For Women Project Behavioural Change Consultancy firm, Aries concept, Mr. Triumph Ekhosayator, who was on ground to see the beneficiaries opined that through strategic interventions and dedicated efforts, the NFWP has enabled women to access resources, develop skills, and seize opportunities previously beyond their reach.

He noted that as the Project ends the first phase, women’s voices and experiences will be amplified through visual products and success stories that are testimonies to the transformative power of investment in women’s empowerment and the ripple effect it has on families, Communities, and the Nation as a whole.

Some of the beneficiaries who include Mrs Ezinma Akudo, Palm oil processor from Osusu Community in Isiala Ngwa North; a Petty trader, Mrs Chibudo Angela Kasarachi; and a Cassava(fufu) processor, Mrs Pleasure Chinyere Eze, shared their experiences, fears and bravery about WAGS, and appreciated the the Governor, Dr. Alex Otti and wife, Mrs Priscilla Otti for supporting the Project.

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They said they are now financially independent and contribute meaningfully in their respective families as a result of the Project.