By: Shaka Sunday

The FCT Administration has empowered 450 Road-side small-scale business women, traders and food vendors in the Federal Capital Territory.

FCT Minister of State, Hajiya Dr. Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu gave the empowerment package in form of cash donations to the beneficiaries at the Amphi-Theatre, Social Development Secretariat, Area 10, Garki I District, Abuja.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State said, the gesture is significant because it is planned to uplift this category of residents from acute poverty and to allow them contribute meaningful to the economic development of the Territory.

Her words: “this is aimed at gearing this class of people towards alleviating poverty, ploughing back into their petty businesses as well as cushioning the effect of present hardship being experienced by most families, especially, indigent petty traders, occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

According to her, the recent devastating floods that have wrecked havoc in some parts of the country have further deepened vulnerability of women and made many of them to relocate to the FCT to scout for means of livelihood.

Tijjani-Aliyu said that the empowerment is a source of motivation to the beneficiaries, for them to realize that the current FCT Administration is passionate and genuinely worried about their plights.

She added that the gesture is to further reinforce the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari to take out of poverty 100,000 Million Nigerians by 2030.  

“What we are doing today is to empower road side small scale market women, to expand their businesses by presenting them with little cash to boost their businesses. While some may see the amount as too small, there are those that run their businesses with just N5,000, yet they feed and support themselves and their families out of this meagre enterprise. Some women are into seasonal businesses that during groundnut season, you see them selling boiled groundnuts, coconut and cooked maize, when that season elapse, they are go into roasting of yams, plantain (bo’leh) etc, when you estimate the aggregate amount of all these entire multiple small-scale businesses, you will find that the funds/capital involved in navigating through all these businesses is far below Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000) or at best N5,000,” the Minister of State emphasized.

Welcoming guests to the occasion, the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed Kabir, said she’s very pleased and fulfilled to see the empowerment of over 450 women across the nooks & crannies of the FCT who are being given some modest amount of cash to revolve or inject into their various small-scale businesses and trade.

Hajiya Kabir stated that Women and Children were mostly affected, thus making them vulnerable during crises, famine and/or economic crunch.

“Accordingly, most of them become victims of Gender based and domestic violence, abuse, trafficking and molestation; and therefore, should be protected,” the Secretary restated.

Hajiya Kabir reiterated that when women are empowered, they are able to manage with the available resources and transform same into a bigger venture.