Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State has said that at least 54,000 Edo women are to benefit from the Federal Government World Bank-supported Nigeria for Women Project (NWP).
A statement by Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Crusoe Osagie on Thursday, quoted the governor as saying that the would-be beneficiaries of the pilot phase would be drawn from the three senatorial districts in the state.
Obaseki, who was speaking at the inauguration of the State Steering Committee and State Technical Committee of NWP in Benin, said that the project was being supported by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government.
In the pilot phase, the project is expected to empower women in Edo, Ogun, Niger, Taraba, Abia, and Kebbi states.
The governor commended the programme, saying that his administration was committed to bridging the economic and social gaps existing between the male and female genders in the state.
“We are addressing all forms of gender gaps, which have promoted extreme poverty in the state.
“So much is being done to ensure that women are empowered with relevant skills, which will make them more useful and self reliant in a highly competitive world,” he said.
According to Obaseki, empowering women will have a multiplier effect on the nation’s economy and poverty reduction.
The governor, who said that the project needed to be data-based, called on the steering and technical committees for the project to come up with the best possible modalities that would guarantee successful execution of the project.
“We need to come up with specific action plans and monitoring mechanism so we can measure outcomes,” he added.
He said that Ward Development Committees should be part of the screening process for the beneficiaries of the project to allow for fair representation.
In her remark, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, the state’s Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the ministry was passionate about the project.
Ohenhen, therefore, assured the governor and other stakeholders of a successful implementation of the project.
She said that the governor’s resolve and commitment to mainstreaming women into governance in the state made it possible for Edo to be part of the Nigeria for women project.