Minister of women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has expressed gratitude to the government and people of Canada for their support to Nigeria especially in the area of women and children’s empowerment.
Tallen, made the commendation when the Canadian Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Nicolas Simard paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs Tuesday.
” We cherish your help, most especially in the area of women and children empowerment,” she said.
A statement by Shehu Maikai, a director of press in the ministry said the minister also urged the High commissioner to collaborate and support her ministry in the area of capacity building and training for both the staff of the ministry and women organizations.
” Capacity building by way of training is key to sustainable development, the minister emphasized,” the minister said.
She noted that research has shown that women are good business managers and therefore called on the High Commissioner to come up with economic empowerment programmes to help the poorest of the poor in Nigeria.
Tallen told the visiting high commissioner that because of the premium she placed on women education, her ministry has invested so much in the education of the girl child, she said.
The Minister said that it would have been an easy sail for women empowerment programs if women take their rightful positions in decision making bodies.
She noted that to encourage men in position of power to appoint women into high political offices, the ministry of women affairs has embarked on a number of advocacy visits to state governors.
” I am pleased to report that we have received very favourable results. Many women are now appointed Ministers, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Judges and a host of other high positions and offices in our land.
” We refer to our male compatriots who are sympathetic to our course as He-for-She champions.
” In this regard we have decorated President Muhammadu Buhari with the He-for-She emblem for his exemplary leadership in the area of women empowerment,” Tallen said.
The minister told the High Commissioner that her ministry has structures across Nigeria to collaborate and accommodate any effort geared towards women empowerment.
The Canadian Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Nicolas Simard had earlier informed the Minister that his visit is a fact finding mission in the area of women empowerment.
He said that the information gotten will enable his country come up with programmes to support women and children in Nigeria.
He said that the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has budgeted $7million to aid development programs in Nigeria adding that vulnerable women and children would be the greatest beneficiaries.
“With the advent of covid-19, there has been an increase in the incidences of gender base violence globally.
” It is in the light of this that the Canadian mission here in Nigeria is willing to collaborate with the ministry of women affairs to strengthen its advocacy drive in order to rid Nigeria of all tendencies of gender based violence,” he said.
Simard said that his country is also seeking collaboration with the ministry in the areas of; girl child education, environment, health, science and technology, trade, agriculture and political empowerment for women and children.
In a welcome remarks, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Ambassador Anthonia Ekpa said that the ministry is eager to work the the Canadian High Commission to improve the living conditions of women and children in Nigeria.
She said that she will immediately set up a committee to work with the High Commission.