Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has analysed some of the socio-economic challenges confronting Nigeria, saying without strong families, the country would not be able to attain real development.
Likewise, Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi and his Osun counterpart, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola described strong families as the critical foundation stone of every society and nation, saying every government must give it deserved priority.
The governors emphasised the roles of strong families in nation-building at the 16th National Women Conference, which started on Monday and ended on Wednesday at Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), chaired by the Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, put the 2016 conference together under a theme, ‘Strong Family, Strong Nation’ to discuss the role of family to national development and examine diverse social challenges facing the country.
At the conference, the host governor said if Nigeria “must make meaningful progress, the family, which is the mirror by which any society is measured globally, must be strengthened.”
Ambode said as much as the family “is the reflection of the society, governments at all levels must give priorities to issues that affects women at large. The women are the bedrock of the family. The women must also be empowered to flourish in her career and the home front.
“While the importance of family to national development was not in doubt, much emphasis must be placed in the commitment towards strengthening the family unit and building strong moral values.
“The family is the foundation and smallest unit of any nation. The heart and conscience of a nation is formed, to a large extent, in the family. However, the issue is the amount of commitment we, in our individual capacities and as a nation, have shown towards strengthening the family unit.
“With strong families, we can build a strong nation. But strong families will only exist in a society where nobody is left behind, where everybody has a voice and a stake. This is one of the toughest challenges facing governments – to build an all-inclusive society.”
He said his administration recognises the critical need for societal inclusion and thus has initiated policies aimed at guaranteeing equal opportunities and participation for all Lagos residents.
He said his administration remained totally committed “to empowering women as well as protecting the girl-child against all forms of negative vices, while creating viable platforms for families to bond and recreate.
“Women are the glue that hold families together. We believe strongly that an empowered woman, with a sense of self-esteem, will be better positioned to make a success of her career and at the same time be a pillar of strength for the family.”
He said the decision of this administration to resuscitate Apapa Amusement Park while speeding up work on Ipakodo Park in Ikorodu, Badagry Recreational Park and Ajako/Alimosho Park was beyond boosting the tourism potential of the State, but to serve as meeting points.