By G9ija

Senate has expressed shock at the dilapidated structure of the National Council of Women Development (NCWD) situated at the Central Business District, Abuja.

Senator Betty Apiafi speaking with journalists over the condition of the infrastructure, also accused men folk of taking over responsibilities that would have been exclusively reserved for women, a situation she said wasn’t healthy for the development of women in Nigeria.

According to Apiafi, men have taken over the Women centre which is opposite the Head Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), which was established in 1992 as a development-driven research and policy formulation as well as Gender and Capacity Building Centre for women.

She recalled how eventful the centre was when it was established about 30 years ago, saying, “the centre was one of the State of the Art edifices that made Abuja thick particularly its Auditorium of about 500 seaters.”

Lamenting the sorry state of the centre while fielding questions from journalists after submitting the 2022 budget proposals for the Ministry of Women Affairs, Senator Apiafi, said no money was earmarked for the renovation of the Centre despite its dilapidated status.

“During the 2022 budget submission to the Appropriation Committee, a passionate appeal was made by me for the Committee to look for money for the required rehabilitation of the Centre.

“It is worrisome that out of the N5 billion earmarked for the Ministry in the 2022 budget, nothing was allocated for rehabilitation work at the centre”, she lamented.

She, however, said water will surely be squeezed out of stone as far as required money to rehabilitate the Centre is concerned, adding that foreign donations would be channelled into rehabilitation work of the centre.

She said, the focus of the Women Affairs Ministry, is on the enhancement of the welfare of the rural women who based on happenings in the country, are the most vulnerable.

“Despite being the most vulnerable or at the receiving end of all manner of unpleasantries in the country, gains of policies and programmes rolled out by both the federal and state governments, hardly get to them.

“For instance, how many of the Houses built for the rehabilitated people from IDPs centres in Borno State, will be allocated to women? How many of the poverty-alleviating interventions being made by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, will be benefitted by women “, she asked.