By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Wednesday said the government would raise the State Women Empowerment Fund (KADSWEF) to N1 billion from 2021.
The governor said this in Kaduna while opening the 4th Kaduna Women Economic Empowerment Summit.
“We are ready to expand the funds to N800 million by 2020 and also promise to further raise it to N1 billion annually from 2021,” he said.
According to him, KADSWEF is already achieving its purpose in promoting women entrepreneurship across the state.
“The beneficiaries of the first batch are paying back by demostrating remarkable profit and guaranteeing that more women will benefit.
“Records throughout the world have shown that women are more honest and they repay loans at a faster rate than men.
“I am happy that women of Kaduna state have proved that, by paying this loan,” he said.
El-Rufai assured women of the state of more support, adding that the government would continue to put the people first in all its policies and programs.
“It involves determined efforts of making life better by investing in the social sector, fixing schools and hospitals, expanding access to antenatal care, free paediatrics services.
“As we seek progressive attainment for our society, we must ensure the vigorous participation of everyone that lives in it; that includes recognizing, supporting and promoting women to make their contributions to society.
“Our drive to promoting equality of opportunities cannot succeed if it doesn’t embrace women at their various stages of life.
“Part of our population is women and any society that fails to utilize the opportunities, capacities and talents of women is ignoring half of its human capital.
“Why should we restrict our own potentials by using only one hand when the task of comprehensive development requires two hands.
“We are committed to women because we believe in a fair and progressive society. We signalled this fight by specifically appointing five women into our state executive council in our first term, we have appointed successfully, additional three women.
“We selected a female Deputy Governor and everyone said we made a mistake, that we will loose the election, but now the rest is history and thanks to the women.”
El-Rufai commended his Deputy for taking the job with admirable energy, commitment and passion
According to him, she is performing her role as deputy governor with calmness, competence and dedication.
According to him, apart from the four women in his cabinet, another one will soon be made the Commissioner of Health.
“We will continue to appoint women to head many key agencies to prepare the next generation of public leaders in the state,” he stressed.
According to him, the quality of women in his administration indicates that competence is a human attribute across both genders.
“Our hope is that our young girls in Kaduna state will see these women as role models and get similarly inspired,” the governor said.
He said the state would continue to encourage girls by giving them free education from primary to senior secondary school.
El-Rufai stressed that the domestication of the Child Right Act underlined his government commitment to the protection of the poor and volnerable including children and girls.
According to him, the establishment of ministry of human services and social development is to monitor the implementation for governance agenda to promote equal opportunity for all, particularly girls, vulnerable and neglected groups.