Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Monday said the state had shown commitment to social development and family welfare by settling over 3,000 matrimonial cases.
This is as he added that 3,017 poor households in the state had benefited from the national monthly cash transfer of N5,000, while 9,573 persons were presently beneficiaries of the N-power scheme.
Ajimobi listed these as some strides achieved by the state in social development when welcoming the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, to the state for a meeting with women groups and other stakeholders in Ibadan.
Ajimobi’s deputy, Mr Moses Adeyemo, who led the conversation, also pointed that the state’s domestication of the Child Rights Act and Violence Against Women Law, as evidence of the state’s commitment to protecting the lives of women and children.
He assured that the state would continue with financial institutions to create opportunities for women in small and medium enterprises to access soft loans.
In her remarks, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, said the federal government had set aside N1.6 billion from which women can access redistributable loans between N10,000 and N100,000.
The micro credit scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)/National Women and Social Development (NAWEP), for petty traders, food vendors, artisans, small scale entrepreneurs, will have a payback period of six months.
Alhassan hinted of plans to make provision for longer payback periods for beneficiaries engaged in farming, poultry business, fish farming and other business activities.
She particularly urged the male folk to continue to support girl-child education and stop violence against women.
State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Atinuke Osunkoya averred that the national empowerment fund would further enable women improve their economic ventures and invariably liberate them from poverty.
Osunkoya added that the interest free loans, empowerment programmes also enabled women to be employers of labour.