Women Empowerment, Pathway to Poverty Reduction, Says Finance Minister

Ndubuisi Francis

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has stated that the only way to reduce poverty in the country is to train and empower the womenfolk.

Ahmed, who stated this during a visit to

the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) in Abuja, praised the centre for the training it offers, “because it helps in economic empowerment for the women”.

Ahmed, in a statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said: “I will like to suggest here that you encourage the women to open a bank account which will help them begin to learn how to manage their finances. You can also liaise with some banks to accompany you during your events so that they can help the women open an account with minimum ease.”

She noted that women need an initial financial support to stand, noting that they are also good managers of resources.

Responding to some requests by the Director General of NCWD, Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, the minister promised to look at all the requests and see how to help.

While congratulating Bashir for what she described as her well-deserved appointment as the NCWD chief executive, Ahmed said: “I believe in your capacity to re-establish the Centre because of your track record in the area of women development and community service.”

Expressing confidence in Bashir’s ability to turn around the fortunes of the centre, Ahmed said: “We know how degraded the Centre is now. Before, it was a proud place to be as a woman. I am happy that you have taken up the challenge. The creche is a laudable project/innovation. We will do our best to help you get support for the generator and to help the creche.

“I will also suggest that you look at the possibility of a light/power supply at the Centre.”

In her remarks, Bashir lamented that she met a moribund agency with dilapidated infrastructure and a staff without motivation, adding that the agency looked like a shadow of its former self.

She stated that the office at the Centre was not functional, and that the mandate of the Centre was neglected.

“So far, we have refurbished the banquet hall and auditorium, so as to kick start activities at the Centre and drive traffic and to raise the necessary funds to run the place.

“We have also refurbished and re-equipped the creche, so as to encourage agencies, especially those close to us to use the creche for their kids,” she said.

She stated that it is also a good place for parents to keep their children when they are at the centre for training and conferences.

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