The managing director of the National Personal Asset Acquisition Scheme (NAPAAS), Alhaji Wali Aminu Bello, has said over 5,000 people have benefitted from the scheme’s programmes and activities.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend during the gala night which was part of the NAPAAS’ activities to mark its five years anniversary in Abuja, he said ex-servicemen, wives of ex-servicemen, their widows, and children of fallen heroes had benefitted individually and as an association from various schemes of the organization.
Bello highlighted that NAPAAS’ schemes cut across agriculture, transportation, health, housing, education, livestock, skills acquisition and empowerment fund.
“In NAPAAS, we have the assets acquisition scheme, the joint venture partnership and the NAPAAS empowerment development fund/foundation and under it we have the basic needs, something you need immediately, then we also have the joint partnership, that is housing, transportation, agriculture, health and other basic necessities of life.
“For instance, we are partnering the Federal Mortgage Bank, National Housing Fund to get low-income housing for these ex-service men and skill acquisition to build their capacity so they have something to fall on at the end of the day,” he said.
He said the scheme planned to inaugurate an evaluation, monitoring and implementation committee to monitor the impact of the programme on beneficiaries with a view to making it better for the welfare of ex-servicemen, wives of ex-servicemen, their widows, and children of fallen heroes.
Similarly, the NAPAAS national coordinator, Engr. Eze Nnadi, said the scheme was conceived to alleviate the sufferings of the ex-servicemen, the widows and children of fallen heroes, stressing their pension was too meagre to sustain them hence an intervention to cushion their sufferings.
“We noticed the plight of ex-service men, most especially those from the private solider to the staff sergeant to the rank of RSM. We noticed they are suffering, NA 63 and below, their pension is too meagre. So, we looked at their situation critically, did slid consultations with some private sector organizations to know whether we can take them from where they are to another level to sustain them with their pension,” he added.
In her remarks, a NAPAAS project beneficiary, Elizabeth Mahmudu, said she had gotten immense assistance from the scheme and benefitted from a myriad of interventions ranging from cash to skill acquisition, adding she was among the latest beneficiaries of the transport scheme (tricycle category).
Earlier, the president, Ex-Servicemen Association, Warrant Officer Anthony Agbas (rtd) who commended NAPAAS for its laudable contribution to veterans and the widows of fallen heroes, urged other private sector organisations and well-meaning individuals to borrow a leaf from NAPAAS so ‘the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’.