Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu on Thursday said the emergence of LAKE Rice would not have been possible without Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, supported by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO.
Bagudu spoke at the closing ceremony of the three-day 18th National Women’s Conference, organized by COWLSO, held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island area of Lagos.
He said the partnership between Kebbi and Lagos had helped to improve the economy of Lagos and Nigeria in terms of local production of rice.
“Without Ambode, there will not have been LAKE Rice. The significant of LAKE Rice was that it encouraged a revival of ‘I can do it spirit,” he submitted.
He said the emergence of LAKE Rice had help the nation to reduce the importation of rice by 90 percent, as captured by President Muhammadu Buhari recently when he met the British Prime Minister, Theresa May
“Without Ambode, we won’t have been able to do that and that was because he got the support of his wife, who is the Chairman of COWLSO. His wife supported the idea and that was why it was successful,” he said.
Bagudu, however, said COWLSO had done tremendously well by organizing the conference over the years in order to reposition women and take them to an enviable position in the society, adding that he was impressed that women in Lagos could take time off their busy schedule, to gather in a place to network and educate themselves on issues that affected women and society.
In his remark, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode commended COWLSO for organizing the annual event, saying that his wife, Bolanle had been able to take the committee to a higher level than she met it.
The governor said he had no doubt that the three-day programme provided opportunities for networking and education among the women, adding that the opportunity to be part of the conference was a privilege that came with responsibilities.
“You have a responsibility to share your experience with others around you. This is the only way you can deepen what you have learnt at the programme. Government will give attention to the recommendation in the communiqué,” he promised.
In her speech, wife of the Governor of Lagos State and Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, urged the 3,000 participants at the conference, to reflect the knowledge acquired in all personal endeavours, and also try to pass on the knowledge to achieve desired impact on society.
She said in one of the papers, titled “Successful Marriage needs, Passion and Perseverance,” women were told to define their preferences in life and ensure that the partners they chose shared much of their personal perspective and worldview, adding that perseverance, interaction and communication, played vital roles in the success of marriages.
She further said in another topic on “Strengthening our Collective Impact: Parenting Digital Kids,” the speaker addressed how parents could protect their children from the harmful side-effects of technology and how they could insulate them from digital explosion, so that they could make responsible choices in life.
According to her, the speaker was quick to point out the fact that while the goal of parenting remained the same, methods and approaches of training children must change, stressing that entirely disconnecting children from the digital world might be counter-productive, and giving them unfettered access to every digital content might also be counter-productive.
“There is the need to ensure that our children acquire relevant skills, so as to make balanced adjustments. The speaker noted further that there has been a major erosion of core values and therefore encouraged participants, to stick to enduring values and identity,” she said.
However, a communiqué issued at the end of the three-day conference and read by the wife of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said the conference resolved that women should acquire necessary skills to live desired life; be brave, conquer fear of failure; have the ability to recover from issues of life; choose their priorities for success; acquire propelling purpose needed for success; be passionate about what they were convinced about and have the right attitude for a successful marriage, the choice of man and family and by defining their goals which should be shared by their partners.
The communique also noted the need to establish process of communication and interaction in marriage and develop perseverance by uniquely developing one’s will power; while women should begin to plan for their retirement by assessing the situation, as well as seek advice from professionals.
The communiqué further charged women to invest and save on regular basis but that they should never put their eggs in one basket, while encouraging them to speak out and seek help when in abusive relationship or see others being abused, as well as know their rights under the law.
The conference charged women to prevent children from becoming mothers by putting machinery in place for continuous sensitization and advocacy to address and eliminate the root-causes and consequences, urging government to put in place structures and policies to address the issues of teenage mothers.
It added that government at all levels, policy makers, health sector both state and local level, family, society, NGO, among others, must all rise and resolve to eliminate the menace by enacting a policy for a reduction in the minimum age of rendering family planning services from 13 to 15 years.
Highlights of the closing ceremony included the presentation of certificates of appreciation to individual and corporate sponsors of the committee.