The Abia state commissioner for Women and Social development, Lady Chinedu Brown, has debunked rumors making the rounds that the Abia state school free meal program has been terminated.
The commissioner who spoke to Factnewsonline during an exclusive interview disclosed that her ministry was at Ukwa east on Monday to carry out the feeding project noting that it is a program that has come to stay.
"We were in two schools in Ukwa east on Monday. The design of the program is to have two schools from each senatorial zone each month, feed them Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
"We didn't stop the project. It kick started immediately schools resumed. We were also at Isialangwa North. Our next port of call.is Bende. Like I said, we pick two schools from each zone to ensure no zone is left out until we go round the 17 Local Government Areas", she said.
On what the ministry has achieved since she became commissioner, Mrs Brown stated that in addition to other achievements, her ministry has "been able to sensitise Abia women, which is our primary focus group, on current economic developments and the expectations in the present dispensation.
"We've used the August meeting platforms to teach women micro enterprises and how they can handle violence at home.
"At the moment we are developing a loan scheme, courtesy of.Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who has approved that we reach out to!indigent women in the state, especially widows.
"In our social development program, we've been able to assist in!payment of hospital bills for women who can't afford it."
Speaking further, the commissioner disclosed plans to start up a
mentorship program for the girl child at the Abia state E-library
"Our mentorship program at the E-library is aimed at encouraging the girl-child who is the woman of tomorrow on how to impact and a better the society through learning and application of ICT!enabled skills."
Refuting the claim that the ministry is exclusively for women and!children, the honourable commissioner stated that the ministry is!gender inclusive
"The ministry is not exclusively for women affairs. We look into gender matters, in fact in some states, the ministry is known as ministry of gender affairs. We look into family matters.
"From time to time we've had families approach us to intervene in their affairs, particularly when there are inheritance problems between step-son and the family."
In addition, the commissioner reiterated the ministry's commitment and push that ensured that Abia was the first state!to domesticate Child Rights law passed by the National Assembly!as well as efforts towards reducing the rate of child abuse, hawking during school hours and child trafficking in the state.
According to the Commissioner, "we have a committee that goes!out with our buses to take in these kids, interview them to know!why they are hawking during school hours. But then again, the!present economic crisis makes it difficult for us to do that as!regularly as we would want. We also have a formidable committee that go round each local government in search of Baby factories.
We are committed to this task as well and have recorded successes without much noise in the media".