No fewer than 200 women in Epe constituency were empowered with a loan scheme under the Raji Women Economic Empowerment Scheme (WEES)â€™, designed to engender mainstreaming in the development policies.
They were assisted with funding of N100,000 each, at no interest rate and under very amenable repayment terms, considering the invaluable contributions and role of women in societal development..
The loan scheme, undertaken to the tune of N20 million, is being implemented in partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
Speaking at the official launching of the programme held at the Centenary Hall, Popo-Oba, Epe-Lagos, a member representing Epe Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Wale Raji, said women empowerment remains a key component of his development agenda for the people of his constituency.
According to him, â€œthere is a saying that behind every successful man there is a woman. It validates the support role naturally imposed on the woman which in no small way helps to propel the wheel of societal development for the benefit of humanity.
â€œTaking a look at the support role of women within the family unit alone, one cannot but appreciate the multi-dimensionality of the impact this has on the overall well-being of the family members.
â€œIf one considers the fact that a great percentage of the womanâ€™s income is spent on the home, then one is undoubtedly confronted with the realisation of the need to empower more women in view of the implicit positive multiplier effect of such an action.â€
He added that the initiative was conceived to increase womenâ€™s access to economic opportunities, adding, â€œIt is a twenty million naira zero interest revolving loan scheme designed to enhance the access of those women involved in micro businesses within the constituency to non-collateralised capital with which they can boost the growth of their businesses and achieve some measure of financial independence.â€
The empowerment of women, Raji said, was crucial and key to the attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that it would increase women access to economic opportunities, healthcare and better nutrition, which ultimately can help abate significantly, the incidence of child mortality.
â€œWomen access to financial resources will also further help to strengthen the discharge of their support role in the family particularly in the education of their wards. This is the reason Wale Raji WEES is designed to give the much-needed financial leverage to our women involved in the management of micro businesses under this revolving loan scheme,â€ he said
He noted that under the scheme, he would dutifully and diligently discharge his obligations so as to create the avenue for greater number of beneficiaries in the nearest future.
To also address the problem of lack of electricity in Epe and its environs, Raji disclosed that a provision of N2.7billion has been made in the 2017 budget for the continuation of the abandoned electricity project.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mr. Akin Oyebode said: â€œHon. Wale Raji raised N10 million and LSETF also raised N10 million both in collaboration to assist the women empowerment. The interest on each loan collected by each woman will be paid by Hon. Raji.â€
Present at the programme were representative of the first lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Ambode, former Commissioner for Education Mrs. Yinka Oladunjoye; Mrs. Funsho Rajiâ€™ Oluepe of Epe represented by Chief Seriki Odibo, Oyebode, Yeye Asiwaju of Epeland, Mrs. Modupe Omotade, Chief Kehinde Eleja, Chief Wasiu Odeyemi, Mr. T. J. Abass, Pastor Segun Oluade, Chief Yemi Agbayo, and Alhaja Kuburat Hassan, among others.