President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration will continue to guarantee the economic rights of women by increasing budgetary allocation to projects by Federal Government ministries, agencies and departments specifically targeted at improving the lives of women.
Speaking at the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on Saturday night in Addis Ababa, President Buhari said that the Federal Government under his watch has demonstrated its commitment to the rights of women by appointing women of proven integrity to key positions within the cabinet.
“We have increased the budgetary allocation of Ministries that have direct bearing on the lives of women particularly health and education, with greater emphasis on girl-child education.
“As you all know, the terrible activities of the Boko Haram Sect led to destruction of thousands of lives and property in the North Eastern part of Nigeria displacing millions from their respective homes, most of whom were women and children and are now at various IDP Camps across the country.
“In order to fully restore and protect their rights, Government is in the process of massive rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of the affected victims in the North Eastern part of the country with the ultimate goal of restoring normalcy in full to that region as well as improving the well-being of the affected persons,’’ the President said.
President Buhari welcomed the AU’s decision to declare the year 2016 as the “The Year of Human Rights in Africa with Special focus on the Rights of Women”.
He said Nigeria has amply demonstrated its commitment to issues relating to rights of women by upholding several human rights treaties and conventions specifically targeted at women.
“In guaranteeing the economic rights of Women, the Federal Government of Nigeria is embarking on massive employment programmes that will promote small and medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), in order to provide succour to our teeming Women and Youth populations,’’ he said.
President Buhari also used the occasion of his address to the AU summit to congratulate President Idris Deby Itno of Chad on his election and assumption of office as the Chairperson of the African Union for 2016.
“No doubt, the appointment is a clear attestation of the confidence reposed in him to steer the ship of our continental organisation at this time, by colleague Heads of State and government,’’ he said.