By Amina Abdullahi Girbo
The Bauchi State First Lady, Hajia Aisha Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed on Tuesday in Abuja sought for continued collaboration and partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and other global intervention organizations for women and youth empowerment.
The Bauchi first lady who was speaking at the MEDA Youth Entrepreneurship and Women’s Empowerment in Northern Nigeria Project (Nigeria WAY) close out ceremony held at the International Conference Centre Abuja, observed that the project has contributed positively towards the promotion of women and youth empowerment.
Hajia Aisha Bala Mohammed who was represented by the Wife of the Deputy Governor, Hajia Asmau Auwal Jatau, said the MEDA Nigeria Women Empowerment and Youth Entrepreneurship (WAY) project has been transformational in improving the resilience of women and youth businesses in Bauchi state.
According to her, the collaboration of MEDA with local partners in Bauchi including her per project, Almuhibba Foundation along with the enabling environment provided by the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed has significantly contributed to the economic empowerment of women and youth in the state.
“I am deeply honored to stand before at this very important occasion as we mark the closing of the Women Empowerment and Youth Entrepreneurship in Northern Nigeria (WAY) project.
It is a privilege to share the remarkable journey that started in 2017, a journey that embodies resilience, empowerment, and transformative change for the women and youth of Northern Nigeria.
“It is important that we take a moment to acknowledge the positive impact it has made on our communities. The WAY project has provided targeted interventions and strategic support to women and youth, giving them access to productive technologies, market linkages, capacity building, and finance initiatives.”
The first lady also noted that in the last seven years of implementation, the WAY project, women have been supported to strengthen their business capacities and increase their income, while young girls have benefited from the development of life skill programs.
“I extend my deepest gratitude to the Global Affairs Canada and MEDA organization, for their unwavering support and promotion of women and youth empowerment.
Your commitment has been instrumental in making Bauchi state a success. We do not wish for this to be the close of our relationship with MEDA and Global Affairs Canada, we look forward to many more engagements.”
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning & Multilateral Coordination, Idris Saleh Giade explained that the project execution witnessed huge successes in the selected seven local government areas of Bauchi, Dass, Toro, Ganjuwa, Warji, Katagum and Jama’are.
“I want to appreciate the complimentary activity carried out by the WAY project that has direct impact with the primary objective of the Committee for the provision of capacity training to 1,727 clients on the utilization of soy to enhance their nutritional diets.
This was made successful in partnership with the office of the first Lady and through the Ministry of Health.The project has set up a network of over 2,000 Saving Groups (SLGs) across 443 communities of the seven Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“As a deliberate effort to ensure the full sustainability of the project, the State has, drawing on the lessons learnt, launched the Micro-Finance Institution –Building Program (MIFIN) with the aim of developing capacity of existing Micro-Finance Institutions in the State as well as replicating the (SLGs) model in other Local Government Areas.
The sustainable practices instilled by this initiative have also helped to reduce the pressure on our environment and the government at large.”