By Obinna Unaeze
Minna – Mr Aliyu Kutigi, the Project Coordinator, Fadama III Additional Financing (AF) project, said on Wednesday that arrangements had been concluded to disburse N25 million grant to 90 women cooperatives in Niger State.
Kutigi made this known while signing the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the women groups in Minna.
He said that the project was meant to alleviate poverty among women in the state.
“We are collaborating with the Niger State Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development to disburse the grant to 90 women cooperative societies from the 25 local government areas.’’
Kutigi said that Fadama would contribute 80 per cent of the grant while the ministry would provide 20 per cent.
He said each group comprised 10 members and that each of them would receive N200,000 for its project.
“This money is to enable you to finance your chosen projects and not for your personal use.’’
The project coordinator explained that N18 million would be disbursed to the groups while N2 million would be used as running cost.
He further said that N5 million, which is beneficiary contributions, would be kept.
He said that each group was expected to embark on agricultural enterprises such as farming, agro-processing and livestock keeping.
ALhaji Abubakar Ndaguye, the Community Development Officer of the project in the state, noted that the grant was an intervention fund from the World Bank.
Ndaguye said the bank’s intervention was based on its recognition of women as a vulnerable group in the society.
Also speaking, Mrs Roseline Abara, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, urged the women to adhere strictly to the regulations guiding the grant and utilise it well.
Abara said that if the beneficiaries used the grant for the intended purpose, the project office would be encouraged disburse more grants to other groups in future.
The commissioner, who was represented by Mrs Ruth Kai, a Director, said that the ministry would collaborate with the Fadama office to ensure judicious use of the fund.
Responding on behalf of the would-be beneficiaries, Hajiya Khadijat Mohammed, Chairperson, Progressive Women Society, New Bussa Local Government Area, promised that they would utilise the funds well.
Mohammed commended the project and the ministry for the gesture.