Empowerment of the Women folks have been described as a recurring global issue, that needs to be tackled with concerted action to bridge the widening inequality gap in Nigeria and the African continent. 

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa stated this Monday at the inauguration of the Women Empowerment Skill Acquisition Programme, WESAP, held at the Event Centre Asaba. 

Government House Correspondent Marian Nweke reports that Governor Okowa also highlighted that both experts and policy makers agreed that empowering women, especially the poor rural women, is fundamental to economic development of Nigeria.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who noted that the issue of women empowerment has for a long time been more than a National concern, stated that in most African traditional societies, experience had shown that Women despite comprising the majority of the population, were routinely abused, marginalized, and discriminated against, particularly in the economic sector.

Governor Okowa pointed out that empowering womenfolk in the state was an integral part of his administration’s economic policies, which prioritized the poor, women, and vulnerable, adding that since inception of his administration on May 2015, several measures had been undertaken especially through the Ministry of Women Affairs and the Microfinance Scheme, to lift women out of poverty and enhance their participation in the economy.

The Governor disclosed that the state Government has taken a step further in its entrepreneurial and skills acquisition training programmes by unveiling the Women Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (WESAP) patterned after other entrepreneurship development programmes such as STEP, YAGEP, GEST, and RYSA.

He said with the introduction of WESAP, the state Government had covered virtually every vulnerable group in the society in its continuing efforts to create wealth, achieve social inclusion, and develop sustainably. 

In her remarks, the wife of the state Governor, Dame Edith Okowa said that WESAP was a continuation of what her husband’s administration efforts at ensuring prosperity for all Deltans, through skills acquisition and empowerment programme.

Dame Okowa enjoined elected and appointed office holders to imbibe the idea of empowering the people, for a better society.

The Governor’s wife while congratulating the 460 participants in the Women Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme for being successful in the selection process, urged them not to sell the starter packs that would be given to them at the end of the their training programme, advising  them to  embrace Jesus Christ to enable them succeed in life.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs. Flora Alatan disclosed that the Governor Okowa’s led administration of the state has placed high premium on youths and women empowerment, pointing out that the 460 beneficiaries of the training programme were carefully selected from the 25 local Government areas of the state through a transparent process.

Mrs. Alatan applauded Governor Okowa for his exemplary and exceptional commitment to issues bordering on empowerment of women and youths in the state through various skills acquisition training programmes, saying that the 460 participants in the programme would be trained for four weeks.

The Women Affairs Commissioner, urged them to reciprocate the state Government’s gesture by being passionately committed to the training programme. 

The Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Housing, Hon. Ferguson Onwoh and the Chief Whip Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Princess Pat Ajudua in their separate goodwill messages applauded Governor Okowa for his massive investment in women and youths development initiatives.

The lawmakers advised the participants to be committed and dedicated to the training programme, in order to acquire the necessary skills and earn a means of livelihood for themselves. 

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