By Philomina Attah
The Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN), Abuja Chapter, has empowered 32 widows, single mothers and young girls with relevant start-up materials to be self-employed and eventually employers of labour.
Chairperson of the association, Miss Joy Esu, in Abuja on Saturday said that the gesture was to also mark the 2023 International Women’s Day.
Esu said that the Society had carefully put together the programme to celebrate and empower the women folk on this all-important event focusing on gender equity, embracing diversity and inclusion to help forge an equal world.
She added that the beneficiaries were carefully selected from different sub-urban settlements within the FCT and its environs, adding that every one of them truly deserved the empowerment scheme.
“This was made possible through their engagement in skill-acquisition training and we assistance them with start-up capital.
“The next phase is a Skill Acquisition Programme for the beneficiaries.
“This is with the view of empowering them with relevant skills and seed capital to help them to commence a Business and to be able to sustain themselves and their families economically.
“This is planned in anticipation that we will be able to raise the desired financial support from our partners/supporters,” she said.
She further explained that the beneficiaries would be train on book keeping, accounting and financial management to help them manage the financial records for their Businesses.
According to her, SWAN is an arm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), whose membership is open to female members of the Institute.
She explained that the Society served as an integral part of the Institute to meet the yearnings and aspirations of women for recognition, creating opportunities and an enabling environment for the promotion of socio-economic development of women.
“We have carried out sensitisation programmes and career talks in six secondary schools within Abuja and its environs.
“The aim is to elicit the interest of the young ones to embrace Accountancy as a Career Path and also inculcate in them self-dignity, discipline and integrity.
“We have also organized sensitisation lectures to undergraduates in Four Tertiary Institutions within FCT and environs on the Career Path of becoming a chartered accountant,” she added.
She further listed other projects executed by the organisation to include medical outreach, orphanage visitation, hospital visitation, prison visitation and anti-corruption advocacy, among others.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) commended SWAN Abuja Chapter for the laudable gesture, urging other states to key into such scheme in order to empower more women in the society.
Adesugba, who was represented by Dr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communication, NEPZA, said that education was very important for a woman, adding that, “but if you do not have a formal education skill acquisition like this is very important.
“There is no society without assistance and there is no society without a woman because it has been measured that a woman’s management ability is much more than that of a man.
“It is said that when you empower a man, you empowered a family alone but when you empowered a woman you have succeeded in empowering both the family and the entire nation, ” he said
The managing director urged women to press on and do not look at anything that would distract them from achieving their set goals.
He equally advised the beneficiaries to use the support given to them today judiciously and ensure they extend helping hand to those not opportune to be selected.
Mrs Bright Okorie, responding on behalf of the beneficiaries appreciated SWAN Abuja Chapter for the support given to them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that items donated to the beneficiaries included, sewing machines, electric irons, hair dryers, baking materials among others.
NAN also reports that the beneficiaries were educated on financial integrity to enable them to operate successful businesses with the items.