By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
Lagos—Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and his Kebbi State counterpart, Mr. Atiku Bagudu, have stressed the need for the inclusion of women in governance in order to enhance rapid development.
The duo also called for women-friendly policies at all levels of government to better the lot of women-folk nationwide, saying their tested skills will put the nation’s economy on the path of sustainable growth and development.
They made the call yesterday, at the opening of a three-day annual women national conference organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO, at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The event had in attendance wives of present state officials and former governors’ spouses.
Ambode in his address at the event with the theme: ‘Relevance in Economic Turbulence,’ expressed the commitment of his administration of pursuing programmes and policies that will empower women to be self-reliant.
The governor noted that economic realities of today necessitated the need for improved protection of girl-child and empowerment of women in the country.
Ambode said Lagos alone has a female population size of over 11 million, making up 48.2 per cent of the total population and of this number seven million forms 30 per cent of the state’s labour force.
Bagudu, in his address before declaring the conference open, said, “The theme of the conference is timely, considering the difficult phase our nation is presently passing through. It calls for a concerted effort and contribution of everyone that has a stake in the prosperity of the country.’’
In her welcome address, Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, said the conference was in line with government’s vision of providing a platform for women to contribute positively to the development to families, communities and the nation.