Tinubu, Uzodimma canvass improved food security via women empowerment

The First Lady of Nigeria, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and his wife, Chioma, have canvassed for improved national food security through strategic and coordinated empowerment of women who are involved in the business of agriculture (agribusiness).

 

They did in their different remarks during the maiden flag-off of the Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) Women Agricultural Support Programme and National Agricultural Land Development Agency (NALDA) for South East Geo-Political Zone in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Wednesday.

 

Away from women farmers support programme, the ceremony was also used to empower 100 physically challenged men and women who were given cash of N100,000 each under the RHI Social Investment Support Programme to enable them boost their businesses.

 

In her address, Mrs. Tinubu said that the RHI initiative aligns with the broader programme of the Federal Government aimed at engaging Nigerian Women in large scale agriculture “as an empowerment and provision of food security for families, States and the Nation at large.”

 

She pointed out that the support for the South East women in the instant ceremony “is a two-in-one programme where 20 women per-State will receive N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira each), and NALDA will support 80 women farmers with farm inputs and training.”

 

She said the financial support is to enhance productivity, while the training is to reduce waste and enhance yield.

 

The First Lady who said the target is to empower two million women farmers implored the beneficiaries to use the opportunity to improve their agricultural scope and contribute to food production to both the State, the Nation and also to advance their overall productivity.

 

She emphasized that “the programme will contribute to the economic improvement of the Southeast zone, put more food on our tables and reduce hunger in our land,”

and urged governments and Governors to support the programme and the women farmers to make a huge success of the initiative.

 

Earlier, Mrs. Tinubu had thanked the  people of Imo State for voting Governor Uzodimma for a second term in office and prayed that his government will bring lasting peace and prosperity to Imo State.

 

She also thanked the Governor for his support, over the years, towards the empowerment of women and the vulnerable group in the State.

 

In his felicitation remarks, Governor Uzodimma thanked the First Lady for the initiative and gesture, describing the day as “remarkable because it will make our women farmers more dedicated and food security will be assured.”

 

Governor Uzodimma further thanked the wife of Mr. President for the empowerment support programme and for flagging-off the programme in the Southeast, urging the beneficiaries to “ensure the programme succeeds and the objectives realized.”

 

He, however, called on all well meaning Nigerians to partner with the First Lady to ensure success of the initiative, stressing that “the programme is in keeping with Mr. President’s campaign manifesto and promises.”

 

In her welcome address, the host First Lady and wife of Imo State Governor who is also Secretary of the Governing Council of RHI, Barr (Mrs.) Chioma Uzodimma said that the Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme is headed by Mrs Tinubu and that it “signifies a profound commitment to the empowerment of women.”

 

She noted: “The empowerment of women through agriculture will solve the problem of food security, engender progress and development of any society. Also, it goes a long way towards achieving gender equality and building a more inclusive prosperous community.”

 

Mrs. Uzodimma emphasized that “the agricultural support programme is significant avenue for women to, not only create economic opportunities, but also contribute to food security, sustainable development and upliftment.”

 

She added: “The agricultural support programme seeks to harness the potentials of women in agriculture by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to excel in the sector.

 

“By empowering our women we are not only uplifting individual lives but also transforming communities and society as a whole.”

 

She warmly welcomed the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all federal and state government officials,  her colleagues wives of Governors of South East, and other key guests and wished them a successful outing in Imo.

 

In his goodwill message, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Prince Ikonne said they are committed to partnering with the First Lady and in luring women, especially the young ones, into agribusiness. He assured of NALDA’s absolute support.

 

Ikonne informed that NALDA has made provision for the empowerment of two million women in animal husbandry, fishery, Poultry, snail farming and others, in addition to arranging for off-takers for a ready market.

 

The highpoint of the event was the show case of the different agricultural inputs and thereafter, distribution to the benefitting women farmers from South East.

 

Wife of the Vice President, Hajia Nana Shettima, that of the Senate President, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, wives of the Governors of Abia (Mrs. Priscilla Otti), Anambra (Mrs. Nonye Soludo), Ebonyi (Mrs. Mary- Maudline Nwifuru), Enugu (Mrs. Nkechinyere Mbah), and those of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mrs. Salamatu Gbajabiamila and the Service Chiefs joined Mlrs. Tinubu at the event.

 

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Lady Chinyere Ekomaru, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Speakers of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Goodluck Opiah (also a former Minister of State, Education) and Rt Hon Emeka Nduka, immediate past Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, former Minister of State, Science and Technology, Chief Henry Ikoh, Managing Director of ISOPADEC, Chief Charles Orie, former Chairman of All Progressives Congress in Imo State, Chief Marcom Nlemigbo, among other former top government officials attended the event.

 

Also in attendance were the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH, Eze EC Okeke, his deputy for Orlu Zone, HRH Eze Thomas Obiefuna, among other ranking monarchs from Imo State.

 

Oguwike Nwachuku

Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor