By Solomon Umana
Gov Udom Emmanuel has been lauded for ensuring full implementation of the Nigeria For Women Project (NFWP) in Akwa Ibom.
The state coordinator of NFWP, Ofonime Etuknwa, Esq, who made the commendation, recently, at a media roundtable with Aries Concept Nigeria and stakeholders in Uyo, said the governor’s decision to enroll Akwa Ibom in the project had culminated in the improvement of livelihoods of women in the benefiting local government areas of Onna, Oruk Anam and Ibesikpo Asutan.
Etuknwa, who expressed satisfaction at the current level of implementation of the project, disclosed that about 11,308 women in the state have so far keyed into the business concept of the project by saving from their daily income to improve their livelihoods.
She said the project, being a collaborative effort between the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State Government, was aimed at creating an enabling environment for women in the state to overcome institutional failures and poverty, thereby enhancing productive livelihoods and socio-economic advancement.
The state project coordinator further stated that though Akwa Ibom keyed into the project in January 2022, about 481Women Affinity Groups (WAGs) and 11, 308 women in the three local councils for the pilot scheme have benefited from the project.
Etuknwa pointed out that the essence of the project “was not only about savings, but to change the behavioural pattern of the beneficiaries and by extension Akwa Ibom women,” adding that the project team had consistently embarked on sensitisation visit to the benefiting local government areas for awareness campaigns.
She expressed appreciation to the commissioner for women affairs and social welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan and other officials of the Ministry for their efforts toward timely implementation of NFWP in the state.
In his speech, the representative of Aries Concept Nigeria, MrKingsley Ogbonna, said his team was in the state to monitor the implementation of NFWP in Akwa Ibom, adding that based on the available records the project was a huge success in the state.
Ogbonna expressed the hope that women from the benefiting local government areas will take advantage of the project and improve their living conditions.