The Oyo State Government on Tuesday donated 200 grinding machines, cassava grinders and a sum of N20,000 each to 200 indigent widows under the state Widowhood Support Scheme, which is meant to empower indigent and needy indigenes of the state.
The wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, in her address to the women at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, venue of the programme, said the gesture was in keeping with the state government’s promise to remove indigent widows in the state from poverty and joblessness.
She said, “I am impressed by the giant stride by the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation in the cause of making womenfolk self-reliant and positive contributors to the socio-economic development of our state.
“It is worthy of note that the state government has been rendering assistance to widows before the advent of this administration, especially in form of loan, which was never repaid. Such money was spent on feeding and other domestic needs because the loan was insufficient to invest in any meaningful business.
“In an effort to assist the widows, the present administration changed the assistance to giving succour to the widows as one of the vulnerable groups in the state.”
She noted that the plight of the widows was important to the government, considering their helpless state and the psychological and emotional trauma that they experienced at the demise of their husbands and breadwinners.
The state Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya, explained that the scheme was designed to bring succour to widows and make them financially independent.
She said, “To this end, a total of 200 indigent widows drawn from all the 33 LGAs in the state will benefit from the support scheme through donation of pepper grinder, a cassava grinding machine as well as grant of N20, 000.”