The Anambra government is to spend N6 million to empower indigent citizens in 177 communities in the state, according to an official.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Herrientta Agbata, announced the plan in Awka on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The commissioner said the ministry had put in place economic empowerment programmes that cut across family ventures to encourage sustainability and livelihood of its citizens.
Agbata said that women, especially widows and orphans who had little or no skills were encouraged yearly by the ministry through financial assistance and provision of equipment useful for their trade.
“We do give out equipment like oven, sewing machine, soap making machine and beads materials, among others to women who had learnt handwork while N5,000 is given to the local women to support their trade.
“We give N10,000 to the best in each community every year instead of N5,000, just to encourage the very active ones.
“With this, a life is saved, children can go to school and women can take care of themselves,’’ she said.
The commissioner said that physically-challenged persons with skills in each community were also included in the programme.
“We believe that there is ability in disability, so we look out for those physically-challenged persons and put a smile on their face to reassure them that we value them.
“We give the same treatment as we give persons without disability.
“We believe in fairness and equality; so we encourage them to compete with their mates in spite of their challenges and they do come out well,’’ she said.
Agbata said the ministry employed the services of community leaders in selecting 30 indigent women, eight physically-challenged persons and 30 orphans in each of the 177 communities.
“We have been doing this selection and empowerment for three years and it is really working out well.
“Every year we witness a new set of beneficiaries and with this practice, everyone will certainly be touched.
“The ministry, under Gov. Peter Obi’s administration, means well for the rural people,’’ she said. (NAN)