Mrs Theresa Ibas, National President, Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA), on Monday said the association was empowering 200 widows and orphans.

Ibas made the disclosure speaking at a lecture entitled, “A Day with Widows and Orphans’’, organised by NOWA in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture, part of activities marking the 50th anniversary celebration of the association, held at the Quorra auditorium, Naval Training Command, Apapa.

The auditorium was filled with participants, especially the widows of naval personnel.

According to Ibas, a day out with widows and orphans was a programme which her predecessor, Mrs Vivian Ezeoba, started in 2013.

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“Ezeoba put smiles on the lips of about 100 widows and orphans.

“This was notably followed up in 2014 by my immediate predecessor, Mrs Lami Jibrin, touching the lives of about 150 widows and orphans.

“This year marks the third edition of the programme and as part of the humanitarian service to our immediate environment and the nation, we target about 200 widows and orphans,’’ she said.

Ibas said the increasing rate at which women were made widows and the suffering of children rendered homeless was becoming worrisome.

She assured the women that arrangement had been made for skills acquisition programme at the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) training centre in Abuja.

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“We are also trying to get ourselves under DEPOWA to visit two IDP camps in Maiduguri before the end of December as part of the 50th celebration.

“We also appeal to the Lagos State Government to consider our widows in its skills acquisition programmes,’’ she said.

The NOWA president said that she wished to complete the standard skills and acquisition centre in Navy town, Ojo, Lagos.

“This is to upgrade not only the widows but women who are willing and able to improve their lives one way or the other to assist their husbands or families with income generation,’’ she said.

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One of the guest lecturers, Mrs Ngozi Chibuzor, who lost her husband as a Lieutenant in 1994, advised the women to look unto God for support instead of going around begging for money.

She also urged them to find something to do, rather than staying idle.

Chibuzor warned the women whose husbands were still alive to adore and respect them.

The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, Rear Amiral Adeniyi Osinowo, past NOWA presidents and other senior naval officers graced the lecture.