President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday (March 9, 2015) in Abuja launched the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria, G-WIN programme as part of the 2015 International Women’s Day celebration.
The event, which was held at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was initiated by the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as a fresh response to tackling head-on the challenges faced by girls and women in Nigeria.
In an expository statement, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and initiator of the programme described Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria, G-WIN, as an innovative programme, through which the Federal Government of Nigeria strategically allocates funds to projects that specifically support the needs of vulnerable and marginalized girls and women.
The Programme was attended by selected secondary school students, young entrepreneurs, different women groups, very senior Government officials, representatives of donor agencies and development partners, among other stakeholders.
At the event, President Jonathan congratulated Nigerian women on the 2015 International Women’s Day celebration, noting that the contribution of women towards the development of the country cannot be overemphasized and shall not go unnoticed.
He therefore reiterated his administration’s commitment to relentlessly support women in every sector in an effort to ensure that they contribute even more to national development.
In his words, “We will continue to encourage the women so that Nigerian women will continue to fly to higher levels.
“If the Nigerian men are not ready to take us to the moon, I am sure the young ladies are ready to take us to the moon.
“The Government of Katsina State is working with us to stop the many cases of vesicle vagina fistula, VVF.
“We want to make sure that every girl child in Nigeria must have an opportunity to go to school,” he assured.
Speaking earlier at the inauguration, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, said the programme was aimed at addressing the challenges of the girl child and what could be done to eliminate such problems.
“When girls and women are economically empowered, infant mortality declines, agricultural productivity increases, population growth is moderated, levels of poverty are broken and economies expand and grow,” she noted.
Other speakers at the launch were the Minister of Communication Technology Dr. Omobola Johnson who presented the Digital Girls Initiative piloted in secondary schools to educate girls on the use and appreciation of ICT equipment and tools, and consequently foster digital inclusion and build women entrepreneurs in the ICT industry; Minister of Health Dr Khaliru Alhassa who elaborated on the huge successes recorded in the VVF repair campaign; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe who discussed on the tremendous impact the ministry’s pilot water projects is having on rural women; and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Ayo Adesina who informed the audience of the impressive participation of more women entrepreneurs in new government agriculture enhancement programmes.