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NIGERIAN AIR FORCE OFFICERS’ WIVES ASSOCIATION GRADUATES 150 WOMEN, YOUTHS FROM SKILL ACQUISITION PROGRAMME IN PORT HARCOURT

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The Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) yesterday graduated another set of 150 women and youths from its Skill Acquisition Programme at 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt in Rivers State. In her welcome address at the occasion, the NAFOWA National President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadique Abubakar, stated that the initial idea behind the Skill Acquisition Programme was to empower wards of personnel serving on the NAF Base in Makurdi, as most of the personnel were engaged in the counterterrorism operation in the Northeast. It was later realised that NAFOWA had to extend the programme to other NAF bases because of the obvious need. According to Hajiya Hafsat, “NAFOWA has trained and empowered over 800 participants across the country in the past two years”. She announced that the Sixth Edition of the programme would be inaugurated in Bauchi on 13 October 2017. Furthermore, she reiterated her belief that when a woman is empowered, the whole family is empowered, adding that the youths also deserve special attention, being the future of Nigeria.

In his remarks at the occasion, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, expressed his happiness to note that NAFOWA had taken steps to empower the wards of personnel at the 115 Special Operations Group, a unit which, according to him, was critical to the NAF’s efforts at dealing with the Nation’s security challenges. He recollected with satisfaction that NAFOWA had been able to graduate women and youths from similar skill acquisition programmes conducted at NAF bases in Makurdi, Maiduguri, Kaduna and Lagos, with a lot of positive feedback. He then urged the beneficiaries of the programme to remain focussed, take full advantage of the opportunity given to add value to their families, the barracks and indeed to the society at large.

The Special Guest of Honour at the graduation ceremony was the wife of the Governor of Rivers State, Honourable Justice Mrs Eberechi Suzette Nyesom-Wike. According to her, the acquisition of vocational skills was a necessity in contemporary times irrespective of the formal education acquired. She therefore commended NAFOWA and its leadership for embarking on the skills acquisition programme for women and youths, noting that she was impressed with the relatively large number of trainees. She then urged women to begin to look towards acquiring skills in the more technical areas such as the installation of cable dishes. Furthermore, she advised the graduating students to use their newly acquired skills to better their lives and those of their relatives. Justice Mrs Nyesom-Wike was also full of praises for the CAS, Air Marshal Abubakar, and other Nigerian Air Force officers for the support they were giving to their wives to make the society a better place.

Guests at the occasion later took the time to visit the exhibition stand showcasing some of the products of the graduating students. The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of certificates and starter packs to the graduating students. The beneficiaries received sewing machines, electric ovens, hair dryers, laptop computers and make-up kits, among other starter packs. The NAFOWA National President expressed the belief that the starter packs would enable them take off smoothly and possibly later transform into small or medium scale enterprises. During the 10-week programme, training was done in areas such as Fashion Designing, Catering and Confectioneries Production, Hairdressing and Barbing, Computer Appreciation, Cinematography, Aluminium Doors and Windows Fabrication, Leather Shoes, Boots and Bags Fabrication as well as Liquid Soap, Detergents and Disinfectant Production, among a host of other skills. The CAS also seized the opportunity of the visit to inspect some ongoing projects in Port Harcourt.

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