280 Borno women trained on self-empowerment
Worried by the inability of women to access loans that could assist them to be self-sufficient, a group of Muslim women in Borno state has trained about 280 less-privileged women on how to source resources for self-empowerment. A study revealed that though women are generally poorer than their male counterparts, they hardly utilize any opportunity given to them to attain their economic independence no matter how friendly a loan could be. It is on that premise that the University of Maiduguri Muslim Women (UMMW) organized a training programme for women on how to enhance their economic income and become self-empowered. The group was quick to warn, though, that it is not its responsibility to source for loans for the trainees. Chairperson of the group, Hajiya Hassana Ibrahim Waziri, said the training was meant to build capacity and create opportunities of income for less-privileged women to be self-empowered. Hajiya Waziri said the group is targeting privileged women who are house-helps, cleaners and nannies in the university that are in dire need to be supported with means that can help them empower themselves. She lamented that despite the several opportunities available for women to access loans from governments, banks and financial institutions at very low interest rates, most of the women prefer to remain in abject poverty rather than collect and invest such loans in profitable ventures that abound all over the place. She described the one-day workshop, which was supported by the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), as a key motivator for the participants. She commended women for a good turnout and promised the group would continue to train women in the state on various crafts, trades and other ventures that could be profitable to them. The participants were trained on various small and medium businesses on which they can easily access loans and invest. The women were told they can run the businesses, which promise lots of dividends and high patronage, and with little or no risks, from their homes. Some of the participants told Daily Trust they had learnt many business ideas that they could do with little investment. One of them, Talatu Modu, was hoping to establish a tailoring shop and a boutique where she would also be an employer. “My brother had told me a long time ago that I should find a trade to do and promised to give me take-off capital. I just got the idea from this training. The business will afford me the opportunity to be gainfully selfemployed as well as be an employer of labour. That way, I will provide some applicants a good platform to work,” she enthused.
Cross section of participants at the UMW self-empowerment workshop