Federal Capital Territory (FCT) through one of her agencies, Social Development Secretariat (SDS) has rehabilitated some ex-prostitutes who used to ply their trades on the streets of Abuja. The over 113 ladies were taken to a rehabilitation center in Lugbe, a suburb of FCT where they are being trained on such skills as; Hair dressing, Fashion designing, Catering/ bakery, Hat and bead making and event management. The two centers are under the Social Development Secretariat, Social Welfare Department.
Speaking at the 6th graduation ceremony of the center, the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Blessing Onuh explained how the center was set up. “The rehabilitation Center came about as an aftermath of series of yearning amongst stakeholders seeking to combat the menace of street commercial sex workers in FCT. The administration sincerely and genuinely accepted their request for an alternative source of income and livelihood”, she said.
Mrs. Onuh who was highly elated because of the girls who have been transformed, revealed that she had attended some wedding ceremonies of past graduates of the center. She proudly recommended the former street girls as good wife materials for Nigerian men. “I am looking forward to be God-mother to their children”, she added.
Mrs. Folashade Ayileka, the Director, Social Welfare Service, SDS said it was the compelling need to re-orientate and empower the huge population of many ill-equipped and unemployed youths in the country that necessitated the establishment of the centers. She thanked everybody, especially the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed; Hon. Minster of State FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary, FCTA Engr. John O. Chukwu and Secretary SDS, for their support and contributions for the success so far achieved.
The 6th graduation ceremony was a combined celebration of two rehabilitation centers at Lugbe and Bwari. The two centers are under the Social Development Secretariat, Social Welfare Department and managed by Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria (SAP-CLN). Rehabilitation Center at Bwari is a vocational training center for physically challenged and people other apprehended miscreants like drug addicts etc. who are willing to be trained. They learn trades like welding work, auto mobile repairs etc. Women and girls are also trained at Bwari Center. Lugbe center is specifically for rehabilitation of ex-call girls.
The Co-ordinator of Lugbe rehabilitation Center, Mrs. Grace Adogo said the graduates of the center are empowered with starter-packs and take off grant of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000.00)each. She thanked partners of the center for their contributions (material and financial) especially Fortis Microfinance Bank, Airtel, Mountain of Fire Ministries and many more.
A representative of one the partners of the center, Joseph Onyeabor, Head Corporate Communications of Fortis Micro Finance told our correspondent that the partnership was part of his organization’s corporate social responsibility, CSR. The interest rate on the money given out was a paltry 4%. According to him, Fortis will maintain the relationship as long as FCT is willing to carry on.