THE CEO SPEECH ON 2020 LOWLA
WELCOME ADDRESS OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF LIFT ABOVE POVERTY ORGANIZATION (LAPO), GODWIN EHIGIAMUSOE PhD, AT THE 8TH EDITION OF THE LAPO OUTSTANDING WOMEN LEADERSHIP AWARD HELD AT THE LAPO INSTITUTE, USELU, BENIN CITY ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020.
- The Chairperson, Prof. (Mrs.) L.I.Salami Vice Chancellor, University of Benin;
- The keynote speaker, Dr. Mrs. Esther Ebube Ogie;
- Chief Edionwe Oliha, The Oliha of Benin Kingdom;
- Commissioners – Social Development & Gender Issues;
- Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
- Gentlemen of the press;
- Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I heartily welcome you to the 8th edition of the LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award (LOWLA), a part of the activities to mark this year’s International Day of Rural Women.
LAPO is a pro-poor development organization that was initiated in the late 1980s, an equally trying period for Nigerians after the adoption of some aspects of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). LAPO is primarily designed to support low-income but economically active persons particularly women to address the challenge of material deprivation, poor health and social exclusion.
In most societies, women are marginalized, and victims of a range culture and customs-induced inequity and injustices which constrain their capacity to realize their potentials.
A vast majority of them are relegated to the background and their roles and contributions are not adequately acknowledged and rewarded.
As a pro-women development organization, Lift Above Poverty Organization –LAPO addresses the marginalization of women and has for over three decades implemented programmes and activities which result in social and economic empowerment of women. For instance, in the In the first half of this year, LAPO reached 51,959 community members mostly women with health services, sensitized and screened 88,785 women for cancer under the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO -C4) project.
The LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award(LOWLA) is an initiative designed to acknowledge and reward women who are making outstanding contributions to the improvement of standard of living of our people. Instituted in 2013, LOWLA has recognized and rewarded women who have distinguished themselves in Business, Farming and Professional endeavours with sustainable social impact. Twenty-one (21) women have been so honoured. The 2020 edition holding today will bring the total number of the Awardees to 24 women.
On this occasion of International Day of Rural Women, I wish to congratulate rural women whose activities still form the bedrock of social and economic development. They account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households across our target rural communities. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and child nutrition.
We congratulate and rejoice with the winners of this year’s Awards, AKPOMEDAYE EVELYN, NKECHI AHAM and UGBO MANDALENE. Our selection processes ensure that winners emerge solely based on merit; we therefore congratulate them heartily. While we urge these outstanding women not to rest on their oars, I wish to note that LAPO will continue to be at the forefront of female empowerment and acknowledgement.
We want to thank the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof Lilian Salami for accepting to be a part of this event. We are grateful. Our profound appreciation to the Guest Speaker, Dr (Mrs) Ebube Esther Ogie for sharing her thoughts with us today.
Thank you and God bless.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe Ph.D
October 15, 2020 Benin City, Nigeria
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