COWA President, Kikelomo unveils vision to empower 100,000 women, combat drug abuse - Africa Public Sector

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COWA President, Kikelomo unveils vision to empower 100,000 women, combat drug abuse

COWA President, Kikelomo unveils vision to empower 100,000 women, combat drug abuse

During a gathering marked by enthusiasm and dedication, Kikelomo Adewale Adeniyi, wife of the Comptroller-General of Customs and National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), expressed readiness to support the Federal Government of Nigeria in empowering women, fighting drug addiction, and creating jobs.

Mrs Kikelomo made this known while delivering a stirring speech at the relaunch of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association, praising their steadfast commitment to empowering women and children and launching an intensive campaign against drug abuse.

The event, which held in Abuja on Thursday, February 15, 2024, saw the convergence of members, stakeholders, government officials, business moguls, and diplomats, highlighting the significance of the association’s endeavors.

While seeking the support of Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Bola Tinubu, to enhance the well-being and empowerment of women in the country, she also stated that COWA had identified the ‘Renewed Hope’ initiative of President Bola Tinubu’s administration as a catalyst for executing their primary projects in the country.

Mrs Kikelomo revealed that they have launched a pilot program to empower 1,200 women and disclosed that the association targets covering over 100,000 women, which, according to her, will significantly assist them in contributing meaningfully to their families in 2024.

She highlighted that the association has made all arrangements to establish a fully equipped ultra-modern Skills Acquisition Center in Abuja, where COWA members will receive regular vocational training and retraining.

Continuing her speech, she stated that the association aims to provide food and other humanitarian support to about 100,000 less privileged individuals across the country before the end of 2024.

According to Mrs. Adeniyi, the relaunch of the organization offers an opportunity to bring their activities to the forefront while also raising funds from corporate organizations and spirited Nigerians for the implementation of their programs and activities.

She added, “COWA plans to establish Nursery, Primary, and Secondary Schools across major border communities and even within cities and towns to offer decent, qualitative, and affordable education to the children and wards of serving and retired Customs Officers.”

She emphasized, “The schools will reduce the financial burden of Customs officers who pay exorbitant fees to educate their children. It will also enable us to instill in our children high moral values associated with the Nigeria Customs Service.”

According to her, the relaunch ceremony offered an opportunity to bring COWA’s activities to the forefront and to perform the investiture of patrons and patronesses and raise funds in support of the needy in society.

She said, “For the benefit of those who might not know us very well, please permit me to briefly talk about our association, COWA. The Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA) is a not-for-profit organization established on the 13th of August, 2009, to promote the welfare of Customs Officers’ families and foster bonds of friendship, unity, and understanding among the wives of officers.”

“COWA has been established with a clear aim to touch lives in a meaningful and impactful manner, and our primary drive is to build relationships, partnerships, and friendships that support the nurturing of healthy communities to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and support the economic empowerment of our members through initiatives that promote prosperity and economic opportunities,” she added.

She emphasized the need to economically empower officers’ wives across the federation and to launch an effective campaign against drug abuse in Customs Barracks to protect youths from the potential harm associated with the consumption of illicit drugs.

She commended President Bola Tinubu’s administration and the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service for their support and commitment to improving the welfare of Customs officers. She expressed satisfaction that more efforts and robust plans are underway to provide suitable accommodations to officers and their families.

On his part, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, who graced the occasion, expressed immense joy for the progress made by COWA. He commended his wife, Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi and her team for their hard work and sacrifices for COWA’s growth.

He disclosed that NCS has placed women in strategic and vital positions across various units and commands, which he views as a significant achievement in attaining gender balance.

CG Adeniyi stated that the service’s main goal is to establish an atmosphere that allows everyone to thrive without any obstacles. He applauded the efforts of Customs Officers’ Wives who have supported COWA over the years and Officers’ Wives from other agencies.

Reaffirming the goal of COWA, the Comptroller-General highlighted the core value of COWA to include the personal and professional development of officers’ wives, fostering a harmonious School environment, engaging in community development strongly aligned with the objectives of the NCS.

He said, “We appreciate our wives whose support encourages us to maintain our stance in fighting against smuggling and sources of strength, especially during challenging times. We are fully committed to supporting them in their work whenever and wherever necessary.”

He added, “The service is supporting COWA in building schools, supporting widows, and conducting medical outreach programs in our border communities. This initiative significantly enhances our corporate social responsibility program and demonstrates our holistic approach to community engagement.”

He said, “Given the substantial impact of COWA’s work, we wholeheartedly support the revival and relaunch of their activities. Confidently, we will continue to contribute positively to our organization and the community.”

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