*Says govt will establish more skill acquisition centres
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Wednesday, pledged that his administration will pursue programmes and policies that will empower women to be self-reliant, especially through the provision of financial facilities and capacity building.
The Governor made the pledge at the opening ceremony of the 2015 National Women Conference, organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) with the theme, ‘Relevance in Economic Turbulence’.
He said the state government in recognition of its female population of over eleven million has continued to increase budgetary provision for women through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, adding that his administration will continue in this line and create more platforms for women engagement.
He said his administration will establish more skill acquisition centres to equip women to take charge of their destiny and show their relevance in the present economic turbulence.
“The creation of our new Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment is to complement the achievements already made by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), he said.
Governor Ambode said his administration in recognition of the important role women play in the state, has already put in place policies to protect and secure them.
“This administration is committed more than ever before to uphold the rule of law and ensure that the law against domestic violence and abuse including rape against our teenage girls are brought to the fore. We are already on the right path in our battle against rapists and the need to protect rape victims”, he said.
The Governor said his government has embarked on a five-year maternal mortality rate reduction programme and an integrated maternal new born and child health strategy as part of efforts to revitalize the public healthcare system with a view to providing free maternal healthcare in all the communities in the state.
“We believe strongly that our women must be encouraged and properly enabled so that our nation can benefit more from their immense potential. At this critical moment of economic challenge, we cannot afford to leave our women behind. To do so, will be like a bird that attempts to fly with one wing”, he said.
Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, shortly before declaring the conference open, commended Mrs Ambode on her assumption of the leadership of COWLSO, which he said comprises of women who are committed to ensuring the success of their husbands in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
“Given the array of experienced and seasoned personalities that will facilitate the various sessions, I have no doubt in my mind that this edition of the conference will achieve the objectives of the organizers”, he said.
Earlier in her welcome address, Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said the Conference was line with government’s vision of providing a platform for women to contribute positively to the development to families, communities and the nation.
She said the theme of the conference was a clarion call to women to be prepared and sensitive to the economic situation in Nigeria and the world.