FOWOSO Summit: Akeredolu, Sanwo-olu, First Lady seek women’s empowerment

…Tap into limitless opportunities —Mrs Akeredolu tells women

…. Women Status In Our Cabinet Has Improved From 13% to 24% —Gov Akeredolu

….Akeredolu Is A Role Model —Sanwo-Olu

The Wife of Ondo State Governor, who is the Founder and Initiator of FOWOSO, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has charged women to be well-informed and keep themselves abreast of current realities around the world.

This she said would make their development and attaining greatness faster.

Mrs Akeredolu also stressed the need for womenfolk to tap into uncountable opportunities around them to achieve set-goal.

This is just as the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, emphasized the need for economic and political empowerment of women in different areas for the development of the nation.

Governor Akeredolu noted that no meaningful economic development can take place in the country without women empowerment.

The Governors spoke on Wednesday at the 3rd Summit of the Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) held at the International Culture and Events Centre, Akure, the state capital.

Governor Akeredolu, who stressed the need to create legislative backing for the Forum, noted that it is important to make progress by creating an institutional framework around the core values of FOWOSO and adopting policy from the forum’s efforts.

He said: “I must commend the First lady, My Adorable Betty for envisioning the five core values of empowerment, equality, advocacy, support and diversity.

“These are key success factors to achieving Gender Equality which is fifth of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established by the United Nations in 2015.

“For us in Ondo State today, the key point about gender equality is not about political correctness and fulfilling international obligations such as the Beijing agreement or the SDGs.

“Our focus going forward, is how we create the synergy between the Ministry of Women Affairs, FOWOSO and non-government organizations focused on women issues, to make progress.”

“In my first term, there were four women in the cabinet; three commissioners and one special adviser. Now, we have four women coming in as commissioners and three as special advisers. Our standing has improved from 13% in my first term to 24%. We will continue to do our best possible to improve the status of women.”

While lauding the initiator of FOWOSO, Chief Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, for her vision to key into gender equality and empowerment of women and girl child, Governor Akeredolu said it is important to create credit schemes for women empowerment .

The Governor said his administration will look into the establishment of women-focused microcredit in each ward of the local governments in partnership with FOWOSO.

“Microcredit is a sure way to improve rural incomes and a vital part in the development of agro-cottage industries. Some state governments in India have over three decades launched credit unions directed at inducing and empowering female cooperatives.

“Their default rates on loans is under 1% and the contributions to revenue generation, unemployment has been exponential. With the paucity of long – term capital, skills acquisition microcredit cooperatives is worth looking at,” Governor Akeredolu said.

The Chairman of the Occasion and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while declaring open the 3rd FOWOSO Summit, said the initiative is for the overall development of womenfolk.

He advised that the forum should encourage more women to come into their fold so as to bring the desired change.

Governor Sanwo-Olu described Governor Akeredolu as a role model, adding that the Sunshine state Governor is a man of courage who says his mind no matter the condition.

He challenged women to participate actively in the business of governance for societal development, urging them to always rise to the challenge of engaging in numerous efforts that promote their welfare and make life more bearable for them.

“Over the years, Ondo State Women have benefited from various programmes like BEMORE, FOWOSO, SOLAYO, BRECAN and lots more, in which over 4,500 girls have been trained by BEMORE and since 2018 FOWOSO has trained and empowered 3,500 Ondo Women in various skills and also supported their businesses with access to credit facilities, equipment and capacity development trainings,” Governor Sanwo-Olu added

In her welcome address, the Wife of Ondo State Governor, who is the Founder and Initiator of FOWOSO, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, charged women to be well-informed and keep themselves abreast of current realities around the world.

Chief Akeredolu, who emphasised that nothing is ever gotten on a platter of gold, just as power is never given freely, called on the womenfolk to tap into the limitless opportunities around them and utilise the potentials to their advantage.

“Opportunity never comes to those who do not search for it. As they say, luck is simply opportunity that meets with preparedness,” she said.

Highlighting the Theme of Year 2021 FOWOSO Summit, “Turning Around The Economic Status of Women in a Covid-19 Era”, the First Lady noted with deep concern the multifaceted effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the global economy that gravely affected women.