â€¢ Fayose, Udom, Obaseki canvass more support for women
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday disclosed that his administration had created 2,613 female entrepreneurs under the State Employment Trust Fund (ETF) in the last two years.
Likewise, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, his Akwa-Ibom counterpart, Mr. Emmanuel Udom and Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki among others noted that women â€œare key in nation-building.â€
The governors spoke at the 17th National Women Conference organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island yesterday.
At the conference, which the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osibanjo, declared open, Ambode disclosed that women were constantly creative; making something out of nothing.
He said his administration remained committed â€œto supporting female entrepreneurs, disclosing that through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, many female run Medium and Small Scale businesses had been funded
He added that as at September 2017, 2,613 female entrepreneurs had received a cumulative sum of N2.1 billion, which he said represented 42 percent of the total loans disbursed but that governmentâ€™s target was to ensure that at least 60 per cent of the loans were given to women.
He urged more women to approach the Employment Trust Fund and also take advantage of the many initiatives from the Ministries of Wealth Creation and Women and Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The governor explained that supporting women businesses â€œshould no longer be seen as a social support or empowerment but as a necessary step to revive and improve the economy.
â€œCreativity has become very essential to succeed in todayâ€™s world because we face new challenges everyday â€“ at home and at work. As the woman creates and transforms, she positively impacts the family, the workplace and the nation.
â€œWith the female population in our country today, it is clear that our women have the capacity to positively affect the Nigerian economy and are already doing so. What is required is a deliberate and articulated policy to support female entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
â€œFrom my experience, female entrepreneurs are outstanding business people who are very creative and hardworking. If you want a job done properly and delivered on time, give it to a woman.â€
Also at the conference, Emmanuel said women represented love, saying celebrating women should be a habit and not at an event as their rights were God-given, adding with love, women could actually create and transform the nation.
Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose emphasised that life without women would be one full of crises, saying that if women were put at the helms of affairs of the nation, they would turn things around.
â€œWe must encourage women, even in politics; women should not be second fiddle. When you conduct local government elections, they should make it to be that when a woman scores 40 percent of the vote, they should be declared winner.â€
In her address, COWLSO Chairman, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, said the theme of the conference, â€œShe Creates, She Transforms,â€ and with a theme thrust of â€œCreativity and Skill Acquisition,â€ was expected to focus on ingenuity of the Nigerian women in the pursuit of innovative and practical solution aimed at achieving sustainable development within her immediate sphere and community at large.
â€œWomen are uniquely created, endowed with skills and blessed with creativity. We are helpmates, we care for the family. We impact our immediate environment positively. The woman out of very little creates. We transform the little created to something bigger and better. Our transformation efforts extend to all facets of human engagement.â€
She listed some of the topics to be examined to include â€˜Building a better World,â€™ â€˜Women in Agriculture,â€™ â€˜Women Empowerment-A Pathway to Development,â€™ and â€˜Financing Option for Micro,Â Small and Medium sized Enterprises.â€™
Ambode said women must rise and have zero tolerance for the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation, saying that the campaign must start from the homes, churches, mosques, offices, among others.
â€œFemale gender mutilation is evil, it is evil, it is anti-social and unjustifiable. In fact, it is a crime against women. We must devote time for enlightenment and awareness, especially among uneducated mothers. We must stand together against it until the practice is totally eradicated in our country and the world.â€
Ambode said women must never fall to the temptation of pursuing economic empowerment at the expense of taking good care and paying attention to their children, warning that children, who did not enjoy good parental care, easily grow to potentially dangerous youths, who becomes nightmares for the society.
â€œWe must desist from and discourage child-labour, child abuse and fight child-trafficking with all our strength. We owe it a duty to give good parenting to ourÂ children and in deed all other children put in our care. We must give them hope and allow them see the positive side of life as a way of bringing back good morals and societal stability.â€