Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Wednesday says that women play vital role in ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in the country.
Ikpeazu said this while declaring the 5th Abia Women August Delegates’ Conference open at the International Conference Center, Umuahia.
He said: “The family is the future of the society and the first place to seek solutions to the problems facing the society and women play important roles here as managers of the home.
“When women look inward and apply their gifts as change agents they will ensure that their contributions will make the society a better place.
“Women have the capacity to ensure that the children receive wholesome education and training that will make them productive members of the society.”
The governor urged the women to be spiritual pillars in their homes and inculcate Godly values in their children to make them peace-loving individuals.
He charged women to enroll in skill acquisition programmes and endeavour to pass the skill they acquired to their children in order to boost the family economy.
He reiterated government’s commitment towards encouraging small business owners by disbursing interest-free loans through the Abia Women Micro Credit Scheme.
Ikpeazu’s wife, Nkechi, said that the event was designed to provide economic, social and political empowerment for Abia women.
She said that the programme focused on emerging issues which had direct bearing on the well-being of women.
She urged delegates to replicate the things they learnt in the meeting in their communities.
“We have received good reports that the beneficiaries of the Women Micro Credit Scheme put the loans to good use, so more loans will be disbursed to empower more women,” she said.
Also, the Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Chief Chinedum Orji, said that August meetings had become critical game changers in boosting rural rehabilitation and rural economy.
Orji, who was represented by Mr Stanley Nwabuisi, the member representing Ikwuano constituency, said that the house would continue to “promote the rights of women through resolutions, laws and policies concerning Abia women”.
The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Ndidi Okereke, expressed satisfaction over the use of August meetings as a platform to exchange developmental ideas.
Okereke said: “I am proud to identify with Abia women as August meetings are beginning to have an intellectual bend and I believe that there are plans to sustain it.”
Earlier, Mrs Ifenyinwa Uwasomba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, described the conference as a significant event which helped to consolidate the efforts meant to advance the welfare of women and children in Abia.
Uwasomba urged the women to consider the event as an opportunity to become active change agents that would make positive impact on the family and society.
The event featured free HIV counselling, health checks, cooking competition, lectures, award presentation, food exhibition, distribution of empowerment items and loan disbursement.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the event, with the theme, “Balance for a better Abia”, is an annual event marking the commencement of women’s August meetings across the state.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)https://nnn.ng/gov-ikpeazu-extols-womens-role-in-socio-economic-development/