Mrs. Abimbola Fashola (M), with Governor Babatunde Fashola SAN (3rd R), Princess Sarah Sosan (R) at International Women's Day.
First Lady of Lagos, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola (L), presenting an award to a recipient at the International Women's Day.
Apr 20, 2008 - International Women's Day Celebration/Rare Gems 2008 Awards
Let me start by congratulating the organisers of this two in one event, the International Women’s Day Celebration/Rare Gems 2008 Awards - Women’s Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) and Today’s Woman. I want to particularly applaud the efforts of Mrs. Bimbo Oloyede and Adesuwa Onyenokwe, two very hard working Nigerian women and worthy role models for the younger generation, in celebrating and encouraging excellence by according due recognition to outstanding performance through these awards.
I congratulate all the awardees especially the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Professor Ndi Okereke Onyiuke who is being celebrated here today as the Woman of the Year and His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Governor of Ogun State who is also being presented the honourary recognition award. Professor Okereke Onyiuke is no doubt one of the several Nigerian women who by their outstanding accomplishment both in private and public practice have lend credence to the statement of the immediate past Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan that “women possess half the brainpower of the universe and any institution that fails to make use of half its potential intellectual or creative assets is short changing itself”.
Today, the attention of the global community is shifting to issues that are either directly or indirectly related to women development and general well being as clearly demonstrated by the eight Millennium Development Goals that were agreed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 by about 190 countries including Nigeria. You will agree with me that a careful analysis of these goals shows that the achievement of the 2015 target date will be greatly determined by the amount of effort directed towards addressing such women related issues including poverty, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, maternal mortality, gender inequality, women empowerment among others.
We, especially those of us that belong to the privileged class can make a real difference particularly by being supportive of programmes initiated whether within or outside government geared towards improving the socio-economic situation of women. We cannot afford to be indifferent because no nation can really achieve the desired level of development except the right condition is created for women to unleash their potentials which in turn will facilitate the process leading to the achievement of a better and prosperous society.
Once again, I congratulate all the award winners with the hope that these recognitions will bring about greater commitment towards uplifting the socio-economic conditions of Nigerian woman.
I thank you for your kind attention. God bless you all.
Mrs. Abimbola Fashola
First Lady of Lagos State