Akwa Ibom has fulfilled all of it primary and secondary obligations by dotting the I’s and crossing the Ts as a mark indicating that the state is fully prepared to implement the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP). Clearly the sincere commitment and passion to commence implementation as displayed by the state government is highly commendable.
Between January and March 2022, the state has participated in the Federal Technical Committee (FTC) and Federal Steering Committee (STC) meetings held at Abuja. They have equally successfully recruited competent staff from the state workforce to man the State Project Coordinating Unit (SPCU). Finalization on the selection 3 LGA’s to serve as pilot for the NFWP project implementation was also concluded following the guidelines and criteria provided. It is not officially on record that Onne LGA in Eket Senatorial zone, Ibesikpo Asutan in Uyom Senatorial zone and Oruk Anam in Ikot-Epene Senatorial zone of the state were picked to serve as the piloting LGA’.
Another paramount achievement made by the state as a show of commitment to this project is the recruitment of Ward Facilitators in each of the LGA to drive the commencement of WAG formation, business and life skills training among other very key thematic goal of the project.
As part of great efforts to support the state in it quest to commence implement, the Federal Project Coordinating Unit in close partnership with the World Bank Task Team has mobilized very competent team to provide first hand training to the Akwa Ibom State Project Coordinating Unit and the Local Government project supervisors along with their various Ward Facilitators. Before the commencement of this trainings, the state has had the presence of Technical Support Mission Team comprising of staff of the FPCU and the Task Team which provided guidance and support in all ramification and that aided a lot in the successes the state has recorded thus far. This certainly speaks to the commitment and strong interest of the Federal Government and the World Bank to ensure Akwa Ibom gets all that it needs to join it counterpart states towards “Improving the livelihood of Women in Targeted Areas of Nigeria”.
Another giant stride recorded is the first meeting held by the State Technical Committee and it Inauguration. As a further indication of the state readiness, the newly formed State Project Coordinating Unit (SPCU) has prepared and submitted it 2022 Annual workplan and budget for consideration and immediate approval to enable the quick commencement of activities and programmes. Like other pilot states, Akwa Ibom is estimated to enroll 54,000 women beneficiaries across the 3 implementing LGA’s of the state and thankfully the FPCU and the remaining 5 SPCU’s have pledged to promptly support Akwa Ibom in realizing this goal within the time the state has implement the project.