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…explains cabinet restructuring


Bayelsa State Government says it will pay more attention to women in its empowerment and small businesses development programmes as part of efforts to stimulate the local economy.

The State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo disclosed this at the weekend when a delegation of Ekeremor Local Government Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Women in Politics paid him a solidarity visit in Government House, Yenagoa.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor said the state government is putting in place effective measures to commence the disbursement of soft loans to the people particularly the women.

He explained that although the empowerment scheme such as the ongoing “Diri Boost” is conceptualized to impact Bayelsa youths and men, priority will be given to the women in recognition of the role they play in society.

He also pointed out that government decided to transfer the responsibility of women empowerment from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Empowerment to the Women Affairs Ministry to ensure effective and efficient coordination of issues affecting women.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo noted that the loan facility is targeted at promoting the development of small and medium scale businesses as well as engender agricultural production in the state.

According to the Deputy Governor, the present administration will do everything within its reach to take the Sagbama-Ekeremor Road to Ekeremor Town, which he noted, substantial work had already been done by the Chief Seriake Dickson’s Government.

He thanked the Ekeremor women for the visit and their abiding support to the PDP and urged them to gear up for the upcoming empowerment programmes “since government cannot give appointment to everybody who has worked for the party.”

His words, “You know that when you empower the woman, you empower a nation because mothers are key to whatever we do. They give birth to the children and also manage their husbands.

“So, as part of what we are doing, we have started the ‘Diri Boost Programme’, which is for both our women and our youths. We are going to make sure there is dignity in labour.

“And that, the era where women are brought out to dance ‘women oye’ and go back empty-handed has passed. So what we are doing now is to ensure that we provide some safe loans you (women) can use to do small scale businesses and do your farms.

“As you know, agriculture is the basis of Industrial revolution. So, we want to empower you to catalyze or jumpstart our economy through agriculture and medium-scale enterprise.”

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Grace Ekiotenne, described the visit as a demonstration of the Ekeremor women’s appreciation of the good works of the deputy governor and assured him of their continued support.

In their separate remarks, Mrs Rebecca Suowari, Mrs Julie Okenarhe and Madam Ebike Tolukoro expressed gratitude to God for the several court judgements in favour of the present administration and appealed to the government to carry Ekeremor PDP women along in terms of appointments and other means of empowerment.

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