Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 4 September 2015 | 4,206 times
The Akwa Ibom State Government has brought succor to many widows in the state as the lucky ones were presented with N30,000 cash each, through the state Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Welfare, to start up small businesses of their own, in its bid towards poverty reduction.
Declaring open a one-day “Widows Empowerment Scheme” at the Women Development Centre in Uyo, the State Capital, the State Governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, reassured widows and, indeed entire women in the state, of government’s readiness to ensure that “poverty is drastically reduced among its citizenry.”
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, expressed appreciation to the womenfolk for their continuous support for his administration and for always being the pillars upon which their families lean, urging them to ensure that their children were well brought up to “be God fearing and useful citizens.”
The governor advised the lucky widows, to utilise the money given to them by investing wisely in small scale businesses, which will in turn yield returns for them to take good care of themselves and their children.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs & Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Emmanuel Edet, while appreciating Governor Emmanuel, for his magnanimity in identifying with the plight of widows and the less-privileged in the society, stated that her ministry, being “the voice of the voiceless”, had the mandate to care for the widows, as well as protecting them.
The commissioner disclosed that the empowerment of widows by her ministry, was a yearly event, and was being done in batches for widows drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state, and also urged “all public-spirited individuals and organisations to rise and render help to widows in their respective communities”, saying that “government cannot do it all alone.”
Dr. Edet used the occasion to call on all Akwa Ibom citizens to protect the rights of widows and stop all forms of discriminations, violence and obnoxious practices against widows, maintaining that “the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare will not fail to prosecute culprits.”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Cecilia Inyang, while encouraging the widows, urged them to pray and trust in God to prosper whatever investment they intend to use the money for.
News Express reports that the event also witnessed Paper Presentations for the widows, on “Small Business and Poverty Reduction” and “Living a Healthy Lifestyle”, by Director, Co-operative Development in the state, Mrs. Victoria Ukporo and a Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Grace Larry Ekanem, respectively.
•Photo shows Gov Emmanuel
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