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Lagos @ 50: Making heroine of the girl-child



Lagos @ 50: Making heroine of the girl-child

Last week, the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) led by the wife of the governor Mrs. Bolanle Ambode held a symposium to examine role of Lagos women in the last 50 years. Muritala Ayinla reports


The event was actually meant to examine the contribution of women to the development of Lagos state in the last 50 but it turned out to be an avenue to chart a course for better strategy to groom more women of substance in the next 50 years.

This, the women experts comprising of business moguls, politicians, lawyers, journalists; including medical doctors, captains of industry and other professionals, said could only be achieved if girl-child education is prioritised and pursue with passion, saying Lagos could provide more women of substance as it has done in the past 50 years, if everyone gives needed attention to girl-child education. Hence, at a symposium entitled:

“The Contribution of Women to Development of Lagos State in the past 50 years”, held at Nana’s Arena, Event Centre and organised in commemoration of Lagos@50, Mrs Ambode described as heroines women, who have contributed to the development of Lagos and left their footprints in the sands of time.

She lauded late Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Mrs Funmilayo Kuti, Alhaja Abibat Mongaji and hundreds of women, who have contributed to the democracy and the Lagos’ success story. According to Mrs Ambode, looking at the immense contribution of women in the state in the last five decades, one will be at loss as to where to start. She said that women have contributed immensely to the development and growth of Lagos.

This, she added would not have been possible if not for proper girl-child education. “Talking about the contribution of women in Lagos to the last 50 years, I am at loss as to where to start. Should it be from trade and entrepreneurship, public service, academia or politics?

Honestly, women have contributed in practically all fields to make Lagos State what it is today. She said that though the golden jubilee anniversary was to commemorate 50 years of existence of the state, it was also meant to celebrate the outstanding contributions of women to the development of the state in various spheres for past 50 years. She said:

“To the glory of God, we can boast of many women permanent secretaries in the current Lagos State Public Service. We have a serving senator and many women political office holders. We have several women corporate titans; distinguished scholars and even a naval Admiral, Itunu Hotonu, among many other accomplished women of Lagos State extraction,” she declared. Mrs Ambode said further that the 50th anniversary was a significant landmark in the life of an individual, institution or state and that history was replete with the outstanding contributions of women in development of the state.

At the event, some of the topics discuss by notable speakers include: “The Voice of Women in Local and National Politics – Then and Now.” “The Giant Strides of Women in the Lagos State Public Service.” “Appreciating the Contribution of Market Women to the Growth of Lagos as a Commercial Hub.” Including,

“Trade, Industry and Investment in Lagos State: Why the Boom must Continue.” She promised that the women would not be weighed down by their numerous achievements but would draw new strategies to take the state to the next level.

Also speaking, the deputy governor represented by the state’s head of service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, eulogized the contribution of women to development of the state, promising that the administration would continue to take women interests as priority. The special guest speaker, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, represented by Laide Osijo, a lawyer noted that Lagos could not have been where she is today without the contribution of women, adding that they could do better.

According to her, “Notwithstanding the progress we have made in Lagos State, we can do better. We still have a large number of women desperately in need of support to lift them out of poverty and degrading relationships.”

On her part, the President Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a two-time former minister of Industry, Mrs. Nike Akande, disclosed that women had less access to loans and business funding largely because they lacked collaterals.

While the All Progressive, South-West Women Leader, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, advocated women inclusion in politics, saying that is the only way they can prove their bravery. The leader of market women and men, Folashade Tinubu- Ojo commended contributions of women to the development of the state, socially, politically and commercially in the past fifty years.

To inspire younger generation of women to lift the state to the next level, the chairman of sessions and Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora matters, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa, added her voice to the girl-child education.

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