Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, has empowered 300 women living with HIV/AIDS in the state; in line with her empowerment programme.
The programme, which was held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital to mark the recent 2014 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration witnessed the distribution of deep freezers, generating sets, grinding machines, sewing machines, among other items.
According to Mrs. Amosun, her target is to join hands with the Ogun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), international partners and other stakeholders in halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the state.
She noted that “International Women’s Day is a very unique opportunity to celebrate our women and encourage them to do more, most especially, in our Mission to Rebuild Ogun State”.
She therefore, has advised pregnant mothers in the state to find out their HIV status through testing, so that measures that would eliminate mother -to- child transmission could be taken. Amosun said remains the avenue to protect the innocent children from the HIV epidemic, saying that many new born babies are HIV positive in Nigeria while a good number of infants are orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
She said “the alarming rate of mother-to-child transmission of the virus has become a source of concern. Mother-to-child transmission and transfusion of infected blood and blood products are generally estimated as ranking next of common routes of infection.
“A helping hand in this direction is like solving a global problem because Nigeria contributes a quarter of global data of mother-to-child transmission”, she added.
Also, following the disaster which plagued the recent immigration recruitment exercise across the country, Commissioners in charge of Budget and Planning in 16 states being governed by Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have moved towards formulating policies that would tackle unemployment in their states.
The Commissioners, who recently converged on Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital for PGF Policy Design Session on Unemployment, identified lack of accurate data and viable plans among others as causes of rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria and agreed on the urgent need to deal with the scourge.
Speaking on the causes identified by participants at the event, the Director General of PGF, Dr. Saliu Lukman, said the issue of unemployment is about the number one problem in the country, which must be tackled holistically.
He reiterated the commitment of the progressive governors to finding lasting solutions to the problem and said the technical session of the meeting would look at issues and how they manifest themselves with a view to generating recommendations.
Delivering the Governance Lecture, Dr. Ayo Teriba, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, said government at all levels must do all within their powers to ameliorate the situation, adding that neglecting this fact would render all other policies unworkable.
He frowned on the non-availability of accurate data outside which he said no meaningful planning could be achieved, adding that “in the absence of an accurate unemployment figure by the government at the centre, any project by various organs are speculative; therefore, we must strive to ensure availability of accurate data to help the states to proffer workable policies”.