ABEOKUTA – The Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with Bank of Agriculture (BoA) through PAMILERIN programme and in partnership with Stanbic IBTC and Plug Platform has empowered fifty (50) rural women across the state as a pilot project.
According to the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Olufunmilayo Efuwape, the empowerment programme which was the highlight of the 2022 International Day of Rural Women held in Abeokuta, the State capital, was carried out to reduce poverty and promote gender equity among the rural women in the state.
Hon. Efuwape said the programme was in furtherance of the state government’s commitment to enhancing food security and providing employment for women in the state.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Melutia Ogunremi, further stated that the empowerment programme, a segment of Okowo Dapo, was to increase the prosperity of both urban and rural women in the state.
“Let me also inform that presently the women empowerment scheme (OKOWO DAPO) had commenced the disbursement of individual livelihood grants to 2,094 women across the state, this programme will continue to be at the front burner of this administration.
“Ogun State Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR in his capacity building of 5000 female entrepreneurs across the state has enable them access financing and scale up their businesses, empowerment of 2,500 rural women across the state through provision of products worth ₦100million, empowerment of over 3,000 youths through vocational training while 400 women and youths are still undergoing training at the vocational training centre under the Ministry of Women and Social Development and also empowerment of 500 women across the three senatorial districts during the re-launching of Okowo Dapo”, the Commissioner stated.
In her welcome address, the Director Women Empowerment Services, Mrs. Wonuola Kazeem, stated that the Ministry is thinking of scaling PAMILERIN programme to accommodate more women in the state.
“Let me state here that improving the living conditions of the rural women is one of the priorities of His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, this can be seen with the recently inaugurated empowerment programme tagged Okowo Dapo which is aimed towards improving the welfare, wellness and elevating poverty among the rural women.
“I charge you all to continue to support, cooperate and pray for the successful implementation of this Administration’s Building Our Future Together” Agenda.”
The resource person, Mr. Adegboyega Adegoke of the Ministry of Agriculture commended the women for their readiness to play their God given role as nation builders.
“You are the nation builders. You have the potential to create massive employment.
“Our Governor loves women, the reason he appoints good numbers of women in his government. In addition, this government has created many opportunities for women more than what is obtainable for men.
“I am encouraging you to be united in order for you to benefit from government provisions. Moreso, you need to avoid extravagant lifestyle by imbibing the spirit of savings.
“Learn to start small. Your concerns should be about how to manage the small to become big, which means you must be ready to make sacrifices.
“I want you to always bear in mind that without women, there cannot be food, and without food, there can’t be a good life. Without your thriving businesses, there can’t be money in circulation. Your businesses reduce unemployment, so you can see the real reason you must remain focused in building this nation through your businesses”, Adegoke implored.
As a form of incentive, Plug Platform in partnership with Stanbic IBTC bank also empowered five women with POS machines with a subsidized start up capital.
According to Mr. Emmanuel Madueke who is the Director of Plug Platform, the machines were dashed out as a way of complementing government efforts at uplifting the rural women.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries of the POS machine, Mrs Bamidele Adegbite of Elega Community in Abeokuta, expressed her appreciation of the empowerment programme sponsored by Governor Abiodun, saying women in the state truly appreciate the giant strides of the Governor.
“Sincerely, I appreciate the varied empowerment programme of Governor Dapo Abiodun. I have been saving money to buy this machine but the price was just going up every day, until today, through the empowerment programme of the Governor, I collected POS machines free. God will always be with Governor Abiodun”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry also sponsored entrepreneurs who trained the women on how to produce a lot of products like paraffin, soap, candle, etc.