First Lady urges women to help sustain nation’s values

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The First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, has called on Nigerian women to sustain the nations values in ensuring a better society.

She said this at the Customs Women Association Re-Launch, Investiture of patrons and patroness, and Fund Raising Dinner in Abuja, with the theme, “COWA 2.0:Shared Values, Integrated Community.

The first Lady, who was represented by the wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Ogogho Musa, urged women not to relent in their God given roles as nuturers.

She said the theme of the re-launch was apt given the need promote the country’s values.

“Women have a pivotal role to play as nuturers and mothers of the society.

“We must re-evaluate ourselves and inculcate values into the younger generation.

“As homemakers, the wellbeing of the home rests heavily on our shoulders and we must be the support system to our husbands to enable them succeed on their jobs,”she said.

She further called on all Nigerians irrespective of culture, religious affiliation or political leaning, to work together for the growth of the nation.

“What makes our nation exceptional is not just our shared political beliefs but our shared values like compassion, respect, integrity and empathy.

“To build the block of a strong integrated community, each of us has a role to play to ensure that our values are upheld and celebrated.

“It is through the integration of these respective features that we can truly appreciate the richness of our nation,”she said.

The first lady further called on all well meaning Nigerians to support the less privileged in the society.

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Tinubu commended the wives of Customs officers for their commitment and determination as well as their contribution towards nation building.


The National President of COWA, Mrs KIKELOMO Adeniyi, said the association was committed to better welfare for spouses of officers among other things.


“COWA is not just another association created for the sake of having one of such women groups in Customs; it was set up as an NGO to touch lives in a meaningful and impactful manner.

“Our primary drive is to build relationships, partnerships and friendships that support the nurturing of healthy communities; alleviate poverty, create jobs and support the economic empowerment of our members through initiatives that promote prosperity and economic opportunities.

“Since we came on board, we have identified many challenges facing the families of Customs officers.

“These challenges include lack of decent housing for Customs officers serving in remote border areas with their families; lack of access to decent and affordable schools for the children of Customs officers serving in remote areas.

“The need to economically empower the spouses of Customs officers across the country and a compelling need to launch an effective campaign against drug abuse across Customs barracks to protect our youths from the potential harm and dangers associated with the consumption of illicit drugs,”she said.

While commending the Federal Government and the Management of Customs for their commitment to the welfare of Customs officers, Adeniyi called for support from well meaning Nigerians in provision of decent accommodation for officers and their families in border communities.

She said such would go a long way in boosting the morale of officers towards the fight against smuggling.

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“In light of this and in the course of this year, COWA plans to explore ways of supporting this category of officers and their families in their areas of primary assignments.

“We can no longer close our eyes to see Customs officers becoming tenants to smugglers in border communities.

“In the same vein, we plan to establish COWA 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.

“COWA Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools will reduce the financial burden on Customs officers who pay exorbitant fees to educate their children.

“It will also enable us inculcate the high moral values associated with the Nigeria Customs Service in our children. With your support, we are hopeful that the proposed schools and our housing support for concerned families will take off soon,”she said.

Adeniyi further emphasised the need to empower spouses of customs officers, adding that, investing in women was good for families, communities and national development.

According to her, such investments are helpful in terms of inclusive economic growth and human capital development.

She added that, investing in women’s empowerment was critical to eradicating poverty.

The president said plans were underway to train and empower 1,200 of COWA members in the course of the year, to enable them contribute meaningfully to the economies of their families and the society at large.

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“We already started this training and empowerment gradually last year but our target this year is to spread it to a large number of our members in various parts of the country.

“We have also concluded plans to set up a fully equipped ultramodern COWA Skills Acquisition Centre here in Abuja, where our members will receive regular training and retraining,”she said.

On drug abuse, Adeniyi said COWA had planned to lead the campaign to raise awareness on the dangers posed by illicit drugs to the youth and society at large.

According to her, the goal of the campaign is to mobilise support and inspire people in Customs community against drug use.

She further stressed on the need to help the needy in the society.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi, commended COWA for their contribution to the welfare of spouses of officers.

Adeniyi, who is one of the patrons of the association, pledged his commitment to helping it fulfil its mandate.

QuestNews reports that highpoint of the event was the investiture of COWA patrons and Patronesses, including Customs Boss, Wale Adeniyi; Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Chief Executive Officer SIFAX Group; Dr Vicky Haastrup, Executive Vice Chairman of ENL Consortium.

Others are, Dr Dahiru Mangal, a renowned businessman, Alh. Sale Ahmadu, Chairman, Trade Modernisation Project(TMP).

COWA is a not-for profit organisation set up in 2009 to promote the welfare of the families of Customs officers as well as foster friendship, unity and understanding among the wives of officers.

The association is involved in empowerment programmes and support for widows and children of fallen officers among others.

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