A member House of Representatives, Honourable Akin Alabi, (APC) representing Egbeda/Ona Ara federal constituency in Oyo State, has announced the launch of a N250 million community outreach programme to assist widows and indigent women in his constituency.
The programme tagged “Women Empowerment Scheme” aims to provide financial and material support for rural and peri-urban women within the Egbeda/Ona Ara constituency and surrounding areas. It will also support existing poverty alleviation and women empowerment programmes and schemes to improve human development indices in Oyo State.
Speaking on the programme on Friday, after a visit to his ward (Ward 4) In Egbeda LGA on a constituency outreach meeting, Hon Alabi said: “This scheme is very much needed in Oyo State, bearing in mind the present state of the economy and it is our intention to use it as a means of bettering the lives of Nigerians in the Egbeda/Ona Ara constituency.”
He added that apart from financial support, the Women Empowerment Scheme would also include skill acquisition programmes for young women, provide access to better reproductive healthcare and increase access of women and girls to all levels of education.
Oyo State’s population is finely split between women and men and with most parts of the state, especially the Egbeda/Ona Ara constituency largely rural, poverty remains a reality for many citizens.
Added to this is the fact that over 90 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty and the timeliness of Hon Akin Alabi’s Women Empowerment Scheme could not be overstated.
With programmes such as the “Egbeda/Ona Ara Women Micro Credit Loan,” Hon Alabi said: “It is time we embark on massive investments in our local women to enable them to support their families and create other jobs and opportunities in their communities.”
Other programmes under the scheme include a “Widow Support Fund;” “Maternity Welfare Programme” and the provision of business start-up loans to support the growth of SMEs in the constituency.
Hon Akin Alabi is known for his community empowerment initiatives and his annual Youth Enterprise Conference which is now in its fifth year has grown popular among young entrepreneurs who continue to receive trainings and business startup funds through the programme.
According to Hon Alabi, it is expected that the N250 million Women Empowerment Scheme which is scheduled to hold as a quarterly constituency outreach programme will have the same impact as the first edition kicks off in July.