Mrs Rita Onuekwusi, 82 years old, has benefited from the just concluded New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Skill Acquisition Programme for Women and Vulnerable Groups in FCT.
Onuekwusi told newsmen at the closing of a five-day Skill Acquisition Workshop for Women and Vulnerable Groups on Thursday in Abuja that she was trained on cake making and pastry.
Onuekwusi, one of the 300 beneficiaries, said she decided to update her knowledge in food business by attending the training.
“I was based in Britain for 28 years and I decided to come to Nigeria; I have been doing that kind of business back in London.
“When I heard about NEPAD, I decided to come and learn more about the skill in Nigeria,” she said.
The beneficiary thanked NEPAD for giving her the opportunity to acquire more knowledge in the area.
She, however, advised elderly women to acquire skills that would boost their economy rather than depend on their children for their upkeep.
“We don’t depend on children where I come from you, and we do something even in our old age to leave legacy for the younger generation,” Onuekwusi said.
Other beneficiaries also appreciated NEPAD for empowering them to acquire skills to boost their economy and support their families.
Mrs Esther Oyeado, who was trained in soap making, said she had started practicing what she learnt from the training.
“My family and friends have encouraged me to establish; I have started making arrangement to start making liquid soap,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Abdulkadir Mohammed, who acquired barbing skills, thanked NEPAD for training him and gave him a starter pack.
“I am a tailor; I want to combine tailoring with barbing,” he said.
Speaking in an interview, Princess Gloria Akobundu, NEPAD National Coordinator, said the organisation had established a Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) department to monitor the beneficiaries to enhance the sustainability of the programme.
Akobundu said ME had one year sustainable development plan whereby each and every one of the beneficiaries would be monitored.
“We have their contacts; we have already designed the cash flow for them and it will be given to them in the next three months.
“ME department team will go to the stands and watch them practicalize what they have learned and track their success,” she said.
One of the core mandates of NEPAD is to identify policies, projects and programmes of the government aimed at promoting good governance.
NEPAD also focuses on programmes aimed at poverty eradication, youth
and women empowerment as well as sustainable growth and development.
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