..to sponsor girls for 2022 edition in Akwa-Ibom State, as Mrs. Akeredolu seeks NDDC’s partnership
The BeMore Empowered initiative of the wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, receives a boost, as the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta, Sen. Godswill Akpabio declared his support for the programme and announced readiness to sponsor the two weeks summer Bootcamp for Girls in Akwa Ibom state, this year.
Assuring the Ondo State First Lady of his support for the initiative, the former Governor of Akwa-Ibom state announced that, he would not only introduce the initiative to the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission,(NDDC) to sponsor girls from the Commission’s areas, but would also sponsor 100 girls on behalf of his family for the first edition in his state.
Akpabio, declared his support for the initiative on Friday, when the Ondo First Lady, in company of the Lawmaker representing Akoko Northeast/NorthWest in the house of representatives, Hon. Bummi Tunji-Ojo, and BeMore officials paid him a courtesy visit in his Asokoro residence, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Highlighting some of his intervention programmes as a governor in Akwa Ibom state, including ability to stop brutalization and harassment of boys and girls by Lebanese, the Niger Delta Minister who was flanked by his wife, said: “But you have chosen to do your own through major empowerment of the girl child, it’s a project that must be supported.
“So, I will take this message to the management of the NDDC, and on my own will join my brother to make sure I also invest. On a personal note, myself and my wife will also sponsor at least a hundred girls to join the programme. Be rest assured that your efforts will not be in vain and that wherever you have sown, God will enable you to reap”.
The Founder of the BeMore Empowered Initiative, who is in Abuja to galvanise actions towards the first edition of the Two weeks Summer Bootcamp for Girls in the Federal Capital Territory, had earlier informed the Minister that the initiative was birthed, purposefully, to promote Science Technology and Mathematics, STEM, in girls; including entrepreneurship.
“Even before I occupied this position, I have been engaged in national discourse. I have interest in developmental issue, I have interest in health issue as it affects women, especially Breast and cervical cancer; so I have been in this for decades before my husband became a governor.
“So, when I have the opportunity to become the First Lady, there were issues that were so dear to my heart. One of them is working towards bridging the gender gap in Science and technology”. She noted.
She informed the Niger Delta Minister how she was able to sustain the Initiative by making it a citizen-driven Project, having realized that much premium was not placed on human capacity development in Nigeria, which, according her, is a long-term investment.
She said: “We have this issue of engaging girls on the STEM space and it’s not easy to convince the government. So, I decided to kind of go solo and reach out to well meaning Nigerians or agencies to please let us invest in girls because we are now in digital technology and is one space now that is gender-neutral.
“I tell people all the times, if a girl can code, can make website design and graphic design and so on .. like some of our girls are already doing, they are already earning a living and can not be lured by these yahoo boys.
” So, what have I done? During summer, I bring these girls, even from disadvantaged families to undergo a training in ICT, Solar Technology and other life-enhancing skills like Wigs making, sewing of bags, Making soap , baking cake; these are things we teach them, life-enhancing skills that will support them as they grow into womanhood”.
Enumerating training items that the participating girls are entitled to after the two weeks training, Mrs. Akeredolu said: ” I go for the best because I also travel far and near and I know what other climes do to their girls. And I looked at them that all those oyinbo girls don’t have two heads, our girls can equally be competitive when we give them a head start which we have successfully done. What brought me here is to extend it to Northern part, and again request you to kindly take it to NDDC-mandate areas”.
She used the medium to appreciate the Minister for the approval of the road to her Community, Eziobodo-Emeabiam road in Imo State, as construction work is ongoing.
Concluding her address, Mrs. Akeredolu presented the BeMore throw pillow to the Minister, as he also declared his support for the girl child by reading out loud, the inscribed words on the pillow.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
Feb 18 2022