Vanguard (Lagos)

11 January 2013

Nigeria: I Will Continue to Empower Women - Jonathan

Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan pledged, yesterday that until the expiration of his tenure, he would continue to work towards the economic and political empowerment of Nigerian women.

He said his administration would do more to ensure that women were given greater access to elective offices and opportunity for wealth creation.

Speaking at a meeting, and upon commendation by the United Nations Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, for appointing women to very important positions in the Federal Government, President Jonathan said he was determined to take women empowerment a step further by encouraging more women to contest in future elections in the country.

"We have done very well in terms of appointments and placement of women in positions of authority and we are still working on achieving a greater representation of women in elective offices. Let me assure you that we are committed to facilitating more successes by women in our next elections," President Jonathan told Ms. Bachelet who is on an official visit to Nigeria.

Jonathan also assured Bachelet, who was the first female President of Chile, that the Federal Government remained fully committed to ensuring that Nigeria attains the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, by 2015.

Reaffirming his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality, the President said he had directed that a comprehensive status report on Nigeria's current standing on the achievement of the MDGs be produced with a view to identifying urgent actions that need to be taken to move the country rapidly towards their attainment.

Bachelet who was in the company of Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy Ogwu, recommended and endorsed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund by Nigeria, she related that from experience as a former President of her country, she had learnt that savings and investments made under such funds were very crucial for countries that rely on extractive industries.

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