Women’s day: Otti approves N100,000 interest-free loan to Abia women entrepreneurs

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State says he has approved immediate disbursement of N100,000 interest free-loan to Abia women entrepreneurs among other operators of small and medium enterprises in rural communities.

This is as he said that his administration had shown unprecedented regard for women as four women occupy very sensitive portfolios in his cabinet; while 17 out of 24 Permanent Secretaries in the state are women.

Otti who stated this in his good will message to Abia women as they mark the 2024 International Women’s Day, said his administration would continue to pursue women advancement.

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“This is in fulfillment of our campaign promise to empower our women in building their businesses at the grassroots and help to create wealth across the state. No less than 50 persons per ward are expected to receive the sum of N100,000, each,” Otti said.

Otti in the message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, restated his commitment to empower more women in the state.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s IWD, “Inspire Inclusion”, Governor Otti said his government had been deliberate about empowering women “through improved budgetary allocation to the various sectors that have direct implications on the welfare and well-being of the women and the girl child as well as appointment of women to strategic positions in government.”

“Here, in Abia State, our administration is highly gender sensitive and this has seen to the increased number of women appointed into the State Executive Council and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government.

“It is worthy of note that women occupy strategic positions in health, education , agriculture and poverty alleviation in the State Executive Council, while out of the total 24 Permanent Secretaries in the state, 17 of them are women. This is unprecedented in the history of the state civil service.

“Our administration has also demonstrated commitment in the payment of counterpart fund for the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP); a project that seeks to support improved livelihoods for women in targeted areas of Abia and Nigeria, by influencing social norms related to gender equality, promoting social inclusion and establishing institutional platforms that improve women’s access to critical life, business and technical skills,” Governor Otti enumerated in a statement issued from his office.”

Governor Otti commended the women for their resilience and devotion to duty, not only at the home front but also in the workplace and society at large. This, according to the Governor, has been despite numerous challenges that both nature and the society have imposed on them.

The Governor described Nigerian women as “epitome of grace, knowledge, beauty and strength, who have achieved so much in different areas of life, globally”.

Otti said the world “owes women” a debt of gratitude for their contributions towards ensuring global economic, social and political development.

He commended Abia women for the faith in him and continued support to his administration.