LASG pledges commitment to women development, commits N25 billion to small/medium scale businesses
Lagos State government has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing policies and programmes that will encourage more women participation in governance, harness their full potentials and empower them to become employers of labour and wealth creators.
The deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, made the pledge yesterday at the 15th edition of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) annual conference held at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
In her address, Dr. Adebule described the theme of the conference: ‘The Next Frontier: New Landscape, New Possibilities’ as most appropriate and relevant, adding that the conference will provide women (participants) with the knowledge, skills and necessary exposure needed to break new grounds, while leveraging on various opportunities around them to unleash their full potentials in the development agenda for the country.
According to her, a recent research by the BMI Research Company indicated that Nigeria is one of the 10 markets in the world where investment in construction and manufacturing thrive. She therefore, urged women to tap into the opportunity and other areas of investment such as ICT and full-scale agriculture to develop their economy.
She disclosed that as a demonstration of government commitment to women development, Lagos state government recently entered into a partnership with the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) to enable women in the state access the 300 million dollars earmarked by the African Development Bank (ADB) Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa
This effort, according to the deputy governor is expected to boost and avail women, owners of small-scale businesses from the state credit and soft loans to tap into several investments opportunities and free them from the shackle of poverty.
“The state government established the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund to support the small and medium scale businesses, as well as support young entrepreneurs especially the women to grow their businesses,” Dr. Adebule said.
“The state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in collaboration with the Action Health Incorporated recently launched the Strategic Action Plan for the Marginalized out-of-schools girls living in some parts of the state. The focus of Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode led administration is to continue to implement programmes and policies that are women focused so as to help them harness their full potential and contribute their quota to the growth of the society,” she added.
She commended members of WIMBIZ for their commitment and dedication to elevating the status and relevance of women in the country, saying that their efforts in the past had helped to encourage women to contribute more to discussions on nation building and development.
In his keynote address, professor Adedoyin Salami of the Lagos Business School, challenged women to see themselves as the power block, who by their numerical strength can get themselves into power and influence political discussions to better their lots, adding that women are national and international assets that can be used to achieve sustainable development needed by the country.