The Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA) on Monday commissioned its new National Secretariat in Gwarinpa, Abuja.
The event was attended by senior Customs officers, former Presidents of the association and leaders of sister non-governmental organisations including the Presidents of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA), Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) and Police Officers Wives’ Association (POWA), among others.
In her welcome address, the National President of COWA, Mrs Kikelomo Adeniyi, expressed appreciation to the founding mothers of the NGO and the incumbent Comptroller General of Customs for their vision, commitment and support over the past 15 years.
She said, “The journey to today’s event was long and arduous. It would not have been possible without the vision, commitment and support of many individuals. Please permit to recognise and appreciate just a few of the giants on whose shoulders we stand:
“Let me start with our founding mother, Mrs Prisca Nwadialor who in 2009 recognised the importance of creating the Customs Officers’ Wives Association. As the Founding President of COWA, she laid the foundation upon which we are building the future.
“Next I want to thank Hajiya Sa’adiya Abdullahi Dikko who served as the second President of COWA from August 2009 to August 2015. Although she took over the mantle of leadership of COWA shortly after its creation, her indelible imprints are there for all to see. Indeed, it was Sa’adiya Dikko that acquired this property, which we are opening today.
“I must not fail to thank my ever-loving husband, the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi (MFR) and the Management of Nigeria Customs Service. The sustained support and encouragement that we get from the CGC and his Management team have been a source of great motivation and strength to us at COWA. Let me place on record here today that from the very beginning, the CGC has been there for us, cheering us on and helping us through difficult times. He never once wavered in his belief in us. He is always willing to listen and lend a helping hand. CGC Sir, we thank you for all that you do and for being the kind of person that makes the world a better place,” she said.
Mrs. Adeniyi said the new National Secretariat is not just a building but “a transformation centre, which will henceforth serve as our launch pad in our quest to touch lives and transform destinies”.
“COWA, from hereon, will go all out to promote the welfare of the families of Customs officers and be responsive to the objectives of assisting the poor and needy in our society in a way that has not been done before.
“This facility, which enables the physical co-location of COWA executives and staff, will also support us in our desire to raise the standard of living of members of our community, and undertake carefully designed welfare programmes targeted at women, youths, children and the less privileged.
“The opening of the COWA National Secretariat is the beginning of a great journey, a milestone in a new and exciting trajectory for the Nigeria Customs Service community.
“It is our firm commitment that we will touch lives and fulfill the noble objectives of the association even beyond the expectations of our founders.
“So to all COWA members, I say this is your office. Feel free to walk in anytime to seek support, offer advice or discuss your ideas, as we work together to create a connected and supportive community,” she said.
The opening of the secretariat, according to her, marks the first step in the journey to rebrand COWA.
“We hope to invite you again on 15th February for the formal re-launch of this impactful NGO,” she added.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.