No fewer than 200 women, 60% of them widows, have been trained in various skills in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony last weekend in Minna, the CEO of Hakima Empowerment Centre, the NGO that trained the women, Mrs Aisha Ibrahim Kuchi, said the training became necessary to enable the participants to acquire skills that will enable them to be economically independent.
In a statement, she said the centre, which has graduated about 5000 people since its inception, five years ago, can do more with more support and availability of funds.
Hakima Empowerment Centre is involved in training widows, youths, persons living with disabilities and the less privileged in various handcrafts like cake baking, body perfume and spray, liquid/bar soap production, tailoring and leather works among others.
In his speech at the event, the senator representing Zone A, Senator Mohammed Bima, who was chairman of the occasion, represented by Barr Yusuf Lakpene, appealed to women in other zones to emulate the centre in order to reduce some of the vices associated with women joblessness and promised to assist the NGO by donating starter packs to the graduands.
The Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Matane, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Economic Planning, Alhaji Baba Wachiko, said the empowering women and youths is one of the key objectives of the present administration in the state.
He said the state is compiling a list of similar NGOs to enable it get a data bank so that the government can collaborate with them to achieve their goals of economic empowerment.