The wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari on Thursday launched the Nigeria Gender Action Plan for Agriculture.
Speaking on the programme created and to be executed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Buhari expressed confidence that it will lift thousands of poor female farmers out of poverty.
She also stated her confidence, that the plan if effectively implemented will see more women making the upward migration from subsistence to medium and large farming.
Also speaking on the outcomes of recently held party primaries, a major topic on the third and concluding day of activities to commemorate the Day of the Girl Child, held at the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), the wife of the President congratulated women who emerged candidates.
She however decried the fact that a defining number of female aspirants were schemed out during the primaries, resulting in just a few of them emerging as candidates . The wife of the President also used the occasion to condemn violence against women, repeating her #LeaveOurGirlALOneclarion call.
Mrs. Buhari’s was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration, Dr. Hajo Sani, who led in the one minute silence observed by participants in honor of Halima Liman, an aid worker killed by Boko Haram and other girls who lost their lives to acts of violence.
The Day of Girl Child celebration which included debate and drama by students on topical issues , workshops and training programmes was organised by the office of the wife of the President and NCWD.
In his speech, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh stated the commitment of the Federal Government to supporting female farmers across the country to move from surviving from the little they earn and relying on outdated farming practices to making good incomes. Ogbeh was represented by the ministry’s Permanent- Secretary Dr. Abdulkadir Muazu.
Giving insight on the key fundamentals of the Nigeria Gender Action Plan for Agriculture, Director Extension Services at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima Babangida, said ultimately a large number of women will get access to funding, better inputs, modern machinery and professional advice to make them big players in the entire agro business chain.
On her part, the minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar stated that the Federal Government would make the necessary investment to make the new plan impactful.
She opined that Nigerian women are worth every investment made in them, as they have shown over time that they are ready to work and make the needed sacrifices.
The minister was represented at the event by a director in her ministry, Mrs. Fawekun Oyeyemi.
Earlier in her welcome address, Director-General of NCWD , Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta Esq, listed the milestones that had been recorded owing to the implementation of the action plan from the Day of the Girl Child celebration in 2017.
She assured that the NCWD is better positioned to spearhead the execution of strategies participating stakeholders come up with from this year’s event.
Speaking in the same vein, chairperson of the NCWD governing council, Mrs. Joi Nuneh described as timely and apt, the theme for this year’s celebration. The 2018 theme is: Empower Girls, Before, During and After Conflicts.
She also called on girls to see agric business as one that can provide a good quality of life for its investors and professionals.
Making a presentation on the performance of female aspirants during the recently concluded party primaries, CEO of Women Radio 91.7 FM, Ms. Toun Okewale Sonaiya, said the statistics of women in elective positioned has worsened with majority of female aspirants including two re-contesting National Assembly members losing out.
Sonaiya however suggested that women negotiate with governorship and presidential candidates for appointive positions. She called on women to vote women and “he-for-she” candidates in 2019, even as she urged that wealthy women show support by funding campaigns of female candidates.
The event equally witnessed goodwill massages from the dignitaries some of whom include, the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Hajiya Salamatu Umar, the wife of the Kaduna State governor, Hajiya Aisha El-Rufai, Cocoa Farmers Association, Small Scale Female Farmers Association, Director-General of NEPAD , Princess Gloria Akobundu and CEO Simba Group Mr. Misha.
Mr. Misha presented the wife of the president a sample of the bicycle donated by his company to women in agric business groups.
The event also had in attendance, the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate ,PTAD, Bar. Sharon Ikeazor.