Why I paid fully for Ondo govt’s facilities used for BEMORE —Mrs Akeredolu

By: Ade Adeleke

The wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief (Arabinrin) Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu, has declared that she paid fully for various Ondo state government’s facilities used for her Girl child empowerment programme, BEMORE SUMMER BOOTCAMP since year 2017 when the first edition was held.

She explained that she paid fully for PSTI, at Ilaramokin and a private University Hostel used for the 2021 BEMORE SUMMER BOOTCAMP held recently.

Mrs. Akeredolu made this remark while addressing newsmen on this year’s celebration of International Day of the Girl Child with the theme: “Digital Generation… Our Generation” held at the grounds of the Government House, Akure.

Mrs. Akeredolu while acknowledging the fact that it has not been an easy task for the womenfolk, said BEMORE Empowered Initiative will continue to groom young girls to be bold, courageous and well educated to face the world in order to be able to cope with the challenges in their immediate environment and stand tall in the society as women are in a better position to solve their own problems.

During the press briefing today

The First Lady noted that she had been paying for government’s facilities to show that her initiative was not a government funded programme, adding that the decision was to distinguish her initiative from other pet-projects of governors’ wives.

She said BEMORE has come to stay and it would be sustained beyond the tenure of her husband.

After the press briefing today

“I paid for all my programs where government facilities are used. I always paid for government facilities I used for my programmes; it is to ensure sustainability of our programmes; I don’t collect anything from government and I paid fully for PSTI I used

“I deliberately didn’t engage government, It (BEMORE) will never be a govt programme.

The First Lady said investment in BEMORE Summer Bootcamp to train young girls in ICT and Solar Renewable Energy is by far the largest investment in girl child education in Ondo State in the last 20 years.

On the success of the BEMORE initiative over the last few years, Mrs. Akeredolu said nearly 2000 girls had been trained while 912 laptops have distributed since year 2017 when the initiative started.

She also used the opportunity to give accounts of funds that has been invested in BEMORE initiative in the last 4 years while also stressing huge investment in the distribution of Yellow cards across local government to address issues of sexual violence in schools and the efforts put in place to ensure passage of the VAPP Bill into law.

In her projection, Mrs. Akeredolu said not less than 2,500 girls would be reached by 2022 and that plans are underway to take advantage of the solar skills of the girls to light up at least 1,000 homes in Ondo State.

Answering questions from journalists on the motive behind the gesture, she said, “the essence is to make the girls BEMORE responsible and bold to all challenges not only now but in the nearest future.

“The essence is to make the girls more useful and bold to challenge all challenges that might want to come their ways now and time to come. The girls are determined to change the narratives and that what a man can do, a woman can also do even much better.”

Sharing from their personal experiences as engineers and entrepreneurs, some BEMORE ambassadors – Ms.Marvelous Jegede, Ms. Christina Nmadu and Ms. Bunni Oluwagbamila recounted how they have been able to use their trainings to solve immediate problems in the society while also underscoring the need to continue to harp on a paradigm shift at the societal level so that girls can attain their full potentials.

Others in attendance at the event include Mrs. Titi Adeyemi, Major Morenike Alaka, representatives from state ministry of education, FOWOSO and Aketi Women among others.