Mrs Florence Oyeyemi, Kwara Commissioner for Finance and Planning, has advocated the need to empower women and youths in order to reduce unemployment in the state.
Oyeyemi made the call while fielding questions from newsmen after the presentation of the palm-nut cracking machine to black soap makers in Odo-Owa, Oke-Ero Local Government Area (LGA) on Monday.
She said that the empowerment was done in line with the vision of Gov. AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq’s administration on ease of doing business and to empower women and youths.
The commissioner said that the state government would soon establish cottage industries in all the 16 LGA of the state to boost local businesses.
She narrated that about two months ago, she got to know about difficulties some old women were encountering when cracking palm nuts on a well-worn mortar.
“This is in the process of making black soap.
“I got to know through a publication a colleague in the state cabinet shared and I decided to help them with the machine.
“With the machine, the women can enjoy some comfort while doing their business,’’ Oyeyemi said.
Hitherto, she said that the women were extracting substance from palm nut with the use of hand thereby making the process to be strenuous and time-consuming.
“This is the reason for the intervention, a donation of palm nut cracking machine for that same process to make it easier and faster.’’
The commissioner also donated undisclosed cash as a revolving fund to the women, saying that proceeds from it should be used to service and maintain the machine.
She advised beneficiaries to form a cooperative society.
Mr Raheem Ajuloopin, House of Representatives member representing Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke Ero Federal Constituency, commended Oyeyemi for her gesture.
Ajuloopin said that he would replicate the idea in his constituents.
He said that the empowerment was in line with other programmes of the Federal Government to empower youths and women.
He also donated N200,000 to be added to the revolving fund for the women in their cooperative society.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the empowerment and also prayed that God should bless the commissioner.