ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed Federal Government’s commitment to protect Nigerian women from all forms of violence.
In a statement to mark this year’s International Women’s Day issued on Wednesday in Abuja, he hailed the contributions of women in all walks of life since the nation’s independence.
He said: “This administration remains committed to ensuring the protection of all women including from all forms of gender-based violence especially those living in parts of our country where the security situation is difficult and living conditions are challenging.
“We are determined that Nigerian women will live to fulfill their aspirations in a peaceful and prosperous country.”
Osinbajo said on International Women’s Day, he would like to, on behalf of the President Muhammadu Buhari, government and people of Nigeria, recognise and appreciate the very valuable work done, and role played by women in the country, over the years, since the struggle for independence.
He added: “We acknowledge and value the contributions women are making to national development. They do this daily working within and outside the home as well as in public life. Indeed they sometimes are the sole providers for their families.”
He noted that in order to strengthen the economic capacity of Nigerian women, President Buhari personally had ensured that the sum of N1.6billion was set aside for the National Women’s Empowerment Fund – the Jarin Mata fund.
He recalled that the administration also established, as part of its Social Investment Programme, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides interest-free soft loans to artisans and traders. At the moment, 60% of beneficiaries under the GEEP programme are women.
He stated: “While we have made some progress over the years connecting women and girls with opportunities, there is still so much more to do. We must strive to use our laws, cultural and religious institutions as well as our resources to empower women, give them opportunity, and protect their rights to a safe, healthy, stable life in our country.”