••• Declares support for Ondo’s First Lady’s Girl-Child Empowerment program
” As politicians, we must stop being Abuja politicians. We must go into the villages to truly see and understand the plight of the people. As the governor of Akwa Ibom State, my ability to open up the state, take the children off the streets of Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna, stopped the house boys, house girls’ syndrome which my state was known for through compulsory and free education, which brought joy to my people. But on your part, you have chosen to focus on empowerment of the girl child. It is a project that must be supported.”
These were the words of the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, when he received in courtesy, the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, in Abuja on Friday.
The Ondo First Lady, who was also received by the former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State and wife of the Minister, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio, disclosed that the visit was in two folds. One, to thank the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) through the Minister, on the Esie Obodo road, Imo State, and to formally solicit the assistance of the Minister for her pet project; Bemore Empowered Initiative (BEI).
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Jackson Udom, the Minister was quoted as saying, “I appreciate your gratefulness to the new and focused NDDC, in the intervention in Imo State, which is one of our mandate states. For the fact that the road is now being given attention by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is a demonstration of the readiness of the present administration to provide the needed infrastructure for the people of the region. I will also be glad to have the President commission the road when completed. Be rest assured that that road would be completed and put to use as soon the budget of the NDDC is approved by the National Assembly.
” I feel very touched for your interest for the girl child. My wife in and out of office as the First Lady, has been doing much for the girl child, the widows and multiple birth programs, Akpabio stated.”
Earlier, Arabirin Akeredolu, intimated the Minister of her pet project; Bemore Empowered Initiative and the need for the well to do in the society and agencies to lend their support for the sustenance of the project.
” Even long before my husband was elected governor of Ondo State, I have been engaged in National discuss. I have interest in developmental, gender and health issues as it affects women, especially breasts and cervical cancer. I have been in this for decades. When I now have the opportunity of being the First Lady, there were issues that were very dear to my heart and one of them is working towards bridging the gender gap in Science and Technology, ” she stated.
According to her, “we don’t seem to place much emphasis on capacity development because the return is not immediate. They are long term. You won’t see it immediately until maybe they have graduated and gainfully employed, that is when you will see the results of that investment.”
She stated further that based on paucity of fund in government, because it has its prioritised programs, ” I decided on my own to reach out to well- meaning Nigerians and Agencies to please let us invest in our girls because we are now in a period of digital technology. If a girl can make graphic designs, design websites, it would make them responsible because while in the university, they are already earning a living.”