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BOA to empower 27,600 Benue women with loans

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By Mercy Kelani

Benue gov. promotes female empowerment by providing them with resources.

In collaboration with the Benue Government, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) is offering grants and low-interest loans to empower 27,600 women, aiming to promote self-sufficiency among women. Joy Luga, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, announced during a press conference in Makurdi that recipients will be chosen from all 23 local government areas in the state. She also mentioned that Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue has been actively promoting female empowerment by providing resources and opportunities for women to thrive.

Luga explained that the women will undergo training before being organized into different cooperative societies, enabling them to secure loans for their endeavours. In accordance with the governor’s strategic development plan and the theme of the 2024 International Women’s Day, the commissioner announced that the state government is planning to actively involve rural women in the program. Luga mentioned that the ministry had started providing women with training in different skills. After completion of the training, they would be given the opportunity to apply for soft loans.

Loans ranging from ₦100,000 to ₦200,000, will be distributed to the trainees.

More so, the areas of focus for the training included fashion and hair design, bead making, beauty and cosmetics, soap and detergent production, and ICT training. The loans, ranging from ₦100,000 to ₦200,000, will be distributed to the trainees, as confirmed by the commissioner. In the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives, and Rural Development, they have developed a plan to support and empower women in our community. Their initiative involves providing financial assistance in the form of low-interest loans to women involved in cooperatives and associations.

This support aims to help them elevate their standard of living from poverty to a more sustainable level where they can confidently affirm that they are leading better lives compared to their previous circumstances. Their training has covered a range of subjects, and they are on the brink of distributing funds to them imminently. Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, the Executive Governor of Benue State, continues to show determination in providing funds for women in need, ensuring that financial support is readily accessible.

Later on, focus will shift to providing training to men across the state.

The commissioner emphasized that the training and empowerment programs were open not only to women but also to men who wished to improve their socio-economic standing. While she acknowledged the importance of including men, she noted that their training and empowerment initiatives would be implemented at a later date. Men are not being excluded because a woman’s existence cannot be discussed without mentioning a man. Luga mentioned that once the funds have been distributed to the women, the focus will shift to providing training to men across the entire state.

It is important to Luga that they make a concerted effort to connect with the men, ensuring that they will think of the Ministry of Rural Development with gratitude and appreciation when celebrating Men’s Day. She emphasized that the key to training women was to help them effectively utilize the loans, thus enabling them to be beneficial assets to their families and local communities. The commissioner announced that there will be an influx of cooperative programs tailored for young girls residing in rural regions in the near future.

Related Article: Empowering Women in Nigerian Business

She also mentioned that there will be training sessions focused on teaching young girls how to take care of themselves. Exploring this further isn’t necessary as it falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Women Affairs. Collaborating with the Ministry of Women Affairs, they aim to provide assistance and support to women in need. Their sanitation programs aim to provide assistance to those in need of improved hygiene facilities. By utilizing their programs, they can connect with them by raising awareness and organizing within the community, she explained.

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