Lafia – No fewer than 35 persons living with HIV/AIDS were among 70 people in Nasarawa State that benefited from a N2.8 million World Bank grant after completing a six-month training in various vocational skills programmes.
Mr Abari Aboki, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, made this known during the presentation of the grants to the beneficiaries in Lafia.
He said that the training programme was organised jointly by the ministry and the State Aids Control Agency (NASACA) and that it was aimed at empowering People Living with Aids (PLWA)and other indigent people in the state.
“Today’s programme is designed to present N2.8 million World Bank grant to the 70 people in Nasarawa State that have undergone and completed six months training in different skills.
“The vocations include beads making, hairdressing, knitting, tailoring and fashion designing, among others.
“Out of the 70 beneficiaries, 35 are persons living with HIV/AIDS while 35 are orphans and vulnerable children in the society.
“The aim is to give them a sense of belonging as well as to enable them to be self-reliant and contribute their quota to national development.
“We deem it is necessary to train the beneficiaries in different skills of their choice, considering the high rate of unemployment in the society, as well as making them to be self-employed.”
Aboki advised the beneficiaries to utilise the grant given to them judiciously to enable them employ others in the respective areas of skills acquired.
The permanent secretary commended the World Bank and the state government for their relentless efforts in improving the standard of living of the people, especially the less privileged in the society and called for its sustenance.
Also speaking, Alhaji Tanko Tunga, the Majority Leader in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, pledged the legislators’ support in addressing issues related to PLWAs and vulnerable children in the society.
Tunga, who is also the Chairman, House committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, urged the beneficiaries to remain focus on the area of skills they had acquired in order to contribute their quota to national development.
Responding, Gloria Akawu, a beneficiary, who spoke on behalf of others, expressed joy over the gesture and promised to make good use of the grant to better her living condition and called for its sustenance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries of the grant were drawn from the 13 local government area of the state.