The Nigerian Army on Thursday said it commenced a Skills Acquisition and Vocational Scheme to support families of soldiers who lost their lives fighting the Boko Haram insurgents.
Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division of the Army, disclosed this at a two-day sensitisation workshop for Cooperative Societies at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.
Yusuf said that the programme entitled: “Chief of Army Staff Barracks Investment Initiative Programme (BIIP)’’, was designed to improve the welfare of troops’ families.
“The programme is geared toward building entrepreneurial skills among youths and women in the barracks, with a view to making them self-sufficient and useful to the society.
“The beneficiaries will be empowered in various income yielding agricultural programmes such as animal husbandry, poultry and fish farming.
“The 7 Division had put relevant empowerment projects in place to enhance socio-economic activities and support affected families in the cantonment,’’ he said.
He listed some of the projects to include cattle ranch, 7 Division abattoir, meat shop and advancement of soft loans to some women in the cantonment and Giwa Barracks.
Others include: establishment of the 7 Division model farm and tricycle initiative.
“Additionally, the Division has invited the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to facilitate the establishment of small scale agro allied businesses for the widows.
“7 Division had established “Wolf Unity Cooperative Society Ltd.” to enable the beneficiaries of the programme to access loans to enable them to start up their own businesses for self-reliance,” the GOC said.