Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, on Monday demanded that the 73 women acquisition centers scattered in parts of the country be completed without further delay.
The demand, which was made of the Women Affairs and Social Development Ministry, was made during the 2016 Budget defence session with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Tinubu, who described the Women Affairs Ministry as a ministry close to her heart, urged every Nigerian woman to show interest in the affairs of the Ministry.
She noted that a situation where only three out of the 75 acquisition centers were completed does not speak well of the ministry.
The Committee also asked the ministry to furnish it with the breakdown of how the N270 million voted to equip the acquisition centers.
“We should stop the business of abandoned projects that was so common in the last administration.
“We should complete the projects for the benefit of Nigerian women. It is in the interest of the Nigerian women that the projects are completed without further delay.
“We also want the headquarters of the Women Affairs Ministry to be completed. We want our headquarters completed. We have made our case. In 2017 Budget, we want to see that some thing tangible is provided in the budget for the completion of our headquarters.
“This is a change government; we don’t want to see abandoned projects. The ministry should collate the number of projects and ensure that they are completed,” she said.
Tinubu said that the completion of the acquisition centers became necessary, especially when they are constituency projects.
The lawmaker reiterated her position that the budgetary provision for the ministry is inadequate for the Ministry.
She, however, added that her Committee would ensure that the little given to the Ministry is judiciously utilised in the interest of the Nigerian women.
On the N1.5 billion owed the National Center for Women Development, She noted that the fund was discovered in the budget of the ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Youth and Sports.
Tinubu said that her Committee would work in conjunction with the Committee on Finance to ensure that the fund was retrieved for the benefit of the women folk.
In her remark, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Al-Hassan, said that the Federal Government is doing all it can to ensure that all abandoned projects are completed.
She also pleaded that new senators should take over the projects initiated by their predecessors.
The Minister also explained that the N270 million in the Budget was not meant for equipping of only three acquisition centers.
She noted that the money was voted for the Economic Services Department of her Ministry.
The Minister promised to furnish the Committee with details of how the N270 million would be spent.
She told the Committee that the skill acquisition centers were mainly constituency projects initiated by members of the National Assembly.
Tinubu insisted that all expenditures by the Ministry must fall within what was captured in the Budget.
“We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different result. That is why we have the change mantra. The areas of need must be focused upon. Women are know to be prudent, we must do things differently for different result,” she said.