The Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP) intensifies its implementation across states with the commencement of livelihood grants disbursement. Five of the six implementing states, namely Abia, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba have flagged off the disbursement of livelihood grants to qualified members of the Women Affinity Groups (WAG). This marks the culmination of a year-long livelihood intervention and capacity building of NFWP beneficiaries comprising of psycho-emotional entrepreneurship skills, market responsive technical skills, advisory services and business plans development.
Prior to the disbursement, participating women had self-selected themselves into WAGs comprising of 15 to 25 women who meet weekly to save a predetermined amount ranging from N100 to N1000. These savings are accessible to members as loans to expand their businesses for higher earning without the burden of collaterals and outrageous interest rate. The groups also contribute to social fund purse separate from their savings, which is deployed as grant to support each other in case of unforeseen adverse circumstances such as ill-health, misfortunes or celebrations.
A number of women, now experience tremendous transformation in their livelihoods through the Nigeria for Women Project. In total, as at April 31st 2022, 14, 656 women have received an average of N56,000 grant each across five states to take their businesses to greater levels. The ongoing disbursement has spurred excitement in the hearts of beneficiaries and their communities.
Flagging off the disbursement in Niger State being the first, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen declared that, “One of the major deliverables of the Nigeria for Women Project is to utilize a community-driven development approach through establishment of Women Affinity Groups (WAGs) to empower them. And this we have done excellently in all our implementing states with the full support of the governors of the states.”
At the well-attended event in Niger State which was held at the Gurara Local Government Authority headquarters, the governor of the Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, charged the benefiting women to make judicious use of the grant for further improvement of their livelihoods which they have developed through the WAGs platform in the last one year, after which he flagged off the disbursement to the jubilation of hundreds of women as they received on-the-spot bank alerts of their livelihood grants
Mrs. Ruth Mshelia, the project’s National Coordinator expressing joy said: “The involvement of women in WAGs, has led to great changes in the lives of the women of NFWP. The capacity building operation of the project has equipped many of these women with what it takes to transform their businesses and also increase income without external funding from any loan agent. They have been able to raise additional capital within their WAGs and reinvest it into their businesses. This has generated notable results in their livelihoods and quality of lives. This grant is another level of the efforts of the Project to ensure greater and better lives and livelihoods for them.” Similar flag off events were conducted in Abia, Kebbi, Ogun and Taraba states with their governors actively involved