Nigeria for Women Project (NWP) has spent N1.2 billion as grants to improve the livelihood of 20,000 women in three local government areas of Niger State.

The Director of Women Affairs in the Niger State Ministry of Women Affairs Eyitemi Olley stated this while briefing reporters about the impact of the project in the state.

According to her, the grant is from a $100 million loan facility from the World Bank to six states, of which Niger is a beneficiary. She added that each of the 20,000 women was given N60, 000 grants to make them self-employed and lift them out of poverty.

Olley said the project is currently domiciled in Agaie, Wushishi and Gurara local government areas of the state, adding that there are moves to upscale it to other local government areas across the state.

She further stated that steps are being taken to map out readily available markets where the beneficiaries can sell their products.

The Media Team Lead, Bankole Ebisemiju said there are currently 64,000 women on the beneficiary list, pointing out that the remaining 44,000 women are currently undergoing training on how to write business plans after which the grants would be given to them upon approval of their business plans.

He also said Nigeria for Women Project is also working on giving N20 million to each of the 3,042 Women Affinity Groups (WAGs) in the state to boost their activities and productivity.

Ebisemiju further said Nigeria for Women Project was created for the rural women and the vulnerable to improve their livelihoods and make them self-sufficient in a way that would be beneficial to society. He added that this would reduce the poverty indices in the state and the country.

Also, the Chairman of Paikoro Local Government Area of the state, Yohana Yakubu has been impeached five months before the end of his tenure. His impeachment was a result of allegations of incompetence, abuse of office and truancy.

The impeachment is coming some months after his suspension from office by the Legislative Council of the local government over his inability to account for millions of naira accrued to the council as internally generated revenue and to give an accurate account of the incomes and expenditures of the council from inception.

The impeachment process began when eight out of 11 councillors met at the Council legislative chamber in Paiko yesterday and signed the impeachment letter.

The councillors then directed the Vice-Chairman to take over the affairs of the council.

Among the many allegations levelled against the chairman was his abandoning the office for over six months after hijacking the task force set up to ensure proper collection of revenue. He was also accused of handling the affairs of the council from his hideout with only the council’s accountant and treasurer having access to him.

In a chat with reporters, the Leader of the legislative council, Mrs Liyatu Yohanna said before proceeding with the impeachment process, all efforts made to get the chairman to respond to the allegations and complaints failed as he was nowhere to be found.