As parts of efforts to promote economic independence among women and reduce unemployment in Nigeria, no fewer than 25 women have become certified mechanics under the Lady Mechanic Initiative in Edo State.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Lady Mechanic Village organised by the Nigerian Bottling Company in Benin, the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan said the initiative, with the support of the Ministry of Women Affairs, would ensure the meaningful contribution of women to national development as employers of labour.
Represented by a Director from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Iranmwinran, Jonathan said the initiative, which operates in Lagos, Edo, Kaduna, Abuja and Kano, was aimed at training young women as auto mechanics, drivers, generator technicians, water pump and speed boat mechanics.
“It offers a transformative approach that is gender responsive, by challenging gender stereotypes.
“It is against this background that we applaud the Lady Mechanic Initiative, initiated by Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuoh, for the benefit of providing a means of livelihood to women in particular,” she said.
The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by the Commissioner for Transport, Orobosa Omo-Ojo, called for more private partnership and sponsorship for such initiative to accommodate more women and promote economic independence. While commending the organizers, he noted that the Lady Mechanic Initiative would create more avenues for economic growth in the state.
The Managing Director of NBC, Ben Langat, explained that the initiative would develop the productive capacity of young women and drive the sustainable development of their communities.
Langat said the NBC was currently training 100 girls who would be certified by the end of 2015.
“Also, we believe in the power of partnerships; hence, Coca-Cola is leading a global drive to forge the Golden Triangle of government, business and civil society working together to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
“Importantly, we believe that women are the pillars of our communities, ” he said.
He said by helping to grow the pool of women in viable and sustainable economic activities, the company aided in strengthening the social and moral pillars of the community to shape a better future.
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