By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Personal Asset Acquisition Scheme (NAPAAS) says it has established an empowerment development fund to cater for ex-servicemen, widows and children of fallen heroes in commemoration of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The chief executive officer of the scheme, Mr Aminu Bello, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the wreath-laying ceremony to mark the day on Friday in Abuja.
Bello said that the aim of the fund was to transform Nigeria Legion, ex-servicemen, widows and children of fallen heroes from being “cost centres” to a profit/revenue and commercial entities.
According to him, the NAPAAS Empowerment Development Fund is a fund whereby every Nigerian is expected to donate to alleviate the suffering of ex-servicemen as well as the widows and children of the fallen heroes.
“It is a fund that is set aside for as much as we can raise and people can donate both from within the country and in diaspora.
“Our appeal therefore goes to the federal government, the National Assembly, the Nigeria Legion and Ministry of Defence to assist us through these challenges.
“We are also calling on Investors both local and foreign as donor organisations to come to our support as we progress to succeed together,” he said.
Bello said that the organisation was motivated principally by the wordings in Nigeria’s National Anthem which pledged that the “labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain”, which it adopted as its slogan.
He said that NAPAAS had tried its best within its limitations to provide for and link up the ex-servicemen, widows and children of the fallen heroes with items of basic needs.
He said the organisation had so far empowered them with items such as tricycles, motorcycles on hire purchase, donations, gifts and joint venture commercial partnership in agriculture, health, housing, skill acquisition, education and transport.
Bello said that NAPAAS had distributed 5,000 bags of rice, 2,000 motorcycles and 100 tricycles to interested ex-servicemen through hire purchase/credit basis since 2016.
He added that 250,000 bags of rice, 10,000 motorcycles and 5,000 tricycle were also available for only those interested to access and also access into NAPAAS Joint Venture Commercial Partnership in housing, agriculture, transportation and health.
According to him, this project will serve as a reward to ex-military/ex-para-military pensioners of their unreserved service to their fatherland.
“The programme goes further to avail members the opportunity to become employer of labour, thereby eradicating poverty and unemployment in the country,” he said.