By Emeka Ozumba
The Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has restarted tour of the one hundred and eighty-one communities in the state with a call on the women-folk not to lose hope in the face of the economic recession currently plaguing the country.
The wife of the governor stated this on 22nd February 2017 during interaction with women in Orumba South Local government Area including Owerri-Ezukala, Umuchukwu, Ogbunka, and Eziagu. Mrs. Obiano had earlier Tuesday visited Ihite, Umunze, Ezira, and Isulo communities where she assured the women that there is hope for them and their families amidst the economic gloom. Said She:
“Our women are very hard-working and should not to be discouraged by the economic hardship but should rather brace-up for the future by taking advantage of the opportunities created by the state government for economic empowerment by participating in income generating ventures so as to support your husbands with family upkeep. Most of you are farmers and should join cooperatives to access loans set aside for disbursement for small scale farming and petty trading. This is one-way governor Obiano tries to achieve an all-inclusive distribution of the dividends of democracy. “
Mrs. Obiano told the crowd who gathered at the town squares to receive her that she embarked on the tour not just to reach the indigent and less privileged but also to keep the locals abreast of what the government is doing and get feedback which she will take to the governor, and called on the people to support the governor. She informed the women that Anambra state government deliberately reserved 50% percent of the small scale loans for women which are disbursed through the Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) to ensure that the money gets into their hands to stimulate petty businesses.
The governor’s wife enumerated laudable achievements of the Obiano administration in less than three years which has positively impacted the lives of citizens of Anambra and galvanized economic activity in the rural areas. Such projects like the N20million Community-Choose-it-Your self-project she noted has helped the local community economy. She also highlighted the cushion created by the palliative measures of tax relief and abolishing of levies in local markets for petty traders, barrow pushers, Okada riders as well as abrogation of illegal levies in schools etc. as a positive action taken by a caring and sensitive governor who has the welfare of the people at heart. She therefore urged the people to pray for the governor and his team.
Mrs. Obiano also advised the women to take advantage of the opportunity for training and empowerment provided by her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) – a non-profit service organization which acts as a beacon for the empowerment of women, indigent widows and the less privileged. She outlined some projects of CAFÉ which provides succor and empowerment to indigent women and widows.
The CAFÉ projects include; Housing for indigent widows in each Senatorial zone, the building of Toilets in rural Markets across Anambra, as well as Skills Acquisition and empowerment training for over 2,500 women in various skills including; Tailoring and Fashion design, Soap making, Bakery and Confectionery, Hair dressing and Beauty Therapy, and Interior Decoration amongst other programmes.
In her remarks at the various communities squares, the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs, Dr. Mrs. Victoria Chikwelu reminded the people especially women of the importance of making their agricultural ventures productive by taking the opportunity of government support loans, and the need to make effective use of the Skills Acquisition centres in the zone to train the locals to be productive. She also urged the women to continue to support the Governor and his wife in their efforts to transform the state.
Also speaking during the interaction with the communities, Member Representing Orumba South Constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Nikky Ugochukwu praised the efforts of the governor at developing the various communities through infrastructural development and interventions in agriculture and security of lives of property. She acknowledged the example of Dr. Godwin Maduka who heeded the governor Obiano’s call for Ndi Anambra to embrace the spirit of “Akuluo uno” to develop their towns with his massive transformation of Umuchukwu and urged well to do Ndi Anambra across the communities to think home and support the government. Hon Ugochukwu also pledged her continued support for government programmes in the state Legislature.
Earlier in their Welcome Addresses, the President General of Women Wing in the eight communities including Lady Fidelia Ejekam of Isulo Women Congress expressed happiness for the Governor’s wife visit and thanked the governor for what many of them described as the peace and progress in the communities and numerous projects across the state. The Women President Generals also thanked Mrs. Obiano for CAFÉ projects which has changed the lives of the less privileged, and also pledged the support of the communities to the APGA led government in Anambra State.
The wife of the Governor, was also accompanied by the wife of the deputy Governor, Mrs. Oby Nkem Okeke, the wife of the National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance, Iyom Mary Oye, the wife state Chairman of APGA, Mrs. Regina Obi, top government officials and party leaders. The governor’s wife earlier visited twenty-five communities before the Christmas break in 2016.