By Fortune Abang
African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV), on Monday, advocated for women empowerment to boost their economic and political participation in the 2023 general elections and beyond.
Executive Director of ACEIDEV, James Ugochukwu, stated this in his address at the maiden skill acquisition programme, organised by the centre for 40 women in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme, with the theme: “Strengthening Women Engagement in Livelihood and Good Governance Project,” was designed to deepen women’s economic and political participation in electoral processes.
According to him, the aim was to build their resilience against prevalence of political and electoral corruption through sensitisation and capacity building for increased income that would improve their livelihood.
Ugochukwu said, “The project commenced from Bwari and will be carried out across the six area councils of the FCT, with plans to expand to states in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“The programme seeks to mobilise 40 women toward strengthening resilience against prevalence of electoral corruption through improved livelihood from several wards in Bwari.
“It is designed to build the capacity of the women and organise them as a common force to resist vote trading during elections as well as acquire necessary entrepreneurial skills to earn income and improve their livelihood.
“This is to ensure that women not only resist inducement by the political class, but also encourage better use of their commonwealth being held in trust by the politicians for the benefits of all.”
He urged women to actively engage in economic enterprises to be able to generate regular income and build self-confidence to effectively participate in politics and conveniently resist electoral corruption, vote buying and vote trading.
Ugochukwu decried situations where people indulged in vote buying and selling during elections owing to lack of knowledge, stressing that selling votes was akin to selling one’s voice.
Also speaking at the event, Executive Director, Exceral International Centre, an NGO, Mr Jet Bello, stressed the need for branding in skill development, adding that it would help women to become self-reliant.
Bello, who presented a lecture on “Branding and Strategic Marketing tips for products’ profitability”, said it was important for the participants to always brand products produced through their skills.
“Branding is key to driving success in businesses. It helps to present your skills or products in an appealing and acceptable format to your intended clients or audience.
“By encouraging women to embrace branding as gateway to meeting their economic needs, they can set goals in their political participation and engagement with their representatives in government,” Bello said.
On her part, Lead Trainer, Beta Resources Ltd., Mrs Laura Adebayo, said for women to become self-reliant, they must always learn to do things by themselves.
“It is important for women to acquire basic skills in the production of liquid soap and different material combinations needed for making dish washing liquid.
“It is equally important for women from the political wards to learn step-by-step ways of do-it-yourself approach in the making of tile cleaner, car wash liquid soap and fabric liquid soap for washing machine,” Adebayo said. (NAN)