By Justina Auta
The Federal Government has immortalised late Mrs Maryam Babangida by renaming the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) after her in recognition of the impacts of her projects on women, especially those at the rural areas.
Mrs Monilola Udoh, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, disclosed this on Tuesday while addressing newsmen in Abuja.
Udoh said that the Bill for the change of name was passed by the Senate on March 29, 2023; while the House of Representatives passed same on April -5, 2023.
According to her, the renaming is in line with the amendment of the National Centre for Women Development Act, Cap. N15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to enhance the functions of the centre.
She said: “The Government under the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the Bill by assenting to it in May 2023.
“By this information, we want our esteemed partners, the general public and indeed the media personnel to take note of the changes and help publicise it to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and even beyond.”
Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, the Director-General of the centre, noted the huge contribution of the late first lady, especially her “Better life for Rural Women” project which impacted on the lives of women nationwide.
“Maryam Babangida is someone that Nigerian women will not forget her, and we are doing this to encourage other women leaders to emulate her virtues, commitment and support to women.
“This will serve as an inspiration to all women in leadership positions to do more for the Nigerian women and will be recorded by history,” she said.
Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Chairman, Implementing Committee for Infrastructure and Renaming of the centre, said: “Renaming of the centre is significant for women. There is something that should remind us about yesterday to enable us do our today better.
“We need to start putting history into perspective, if we don’t do that we will loose sight of who we are as a people, country, nation and tribe.
“What has been achieved here is that collectively Nigerian women spoke with one voice that we want a change that will give us a focus of what we are doing as women in development.
“I pray that the centre expands beyond where we are today and it will be a citadel of hope for the Nigerian women and indeed black women around the world.”
On her part, Mrs Pauline Tallen, former Minister of Women Affairs, recalled the achievements of the late Maryam Babangida, whom she said had supported women to excel in every leadership positions they vyied for.
Tallen also expressed appreciation to former President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Bill 48 hours before the end of his administration.
Similarly, Sen. Betty Apiafi, recalled the efforts made in ensuring the passage of the Bill aimed at promoting and protecting women’s rights and development.
“We are here not only to celebrate the renaming of the centre, but also upgrading the bill so that the centre will be able to perform optimally and reach out to more women in rural areas and those in need,” she said.
Also, Hajiya Aliyu, a beneficiary of the late Maryam Babangida’s programe, “Better life for Rural Women”, said the renaming of the centre was apt in recognition of its impacts on the lives of Nigerian women.
“This will remind people and other first ladies that are coming to do better than her and not to come and go after several years without doing anything for the Nigerian women.
“Also, I wish every subjection going to states, some should be given to the first lady from the states and local governments must have their share to take care of the rural women.” (NAN)