Osun State First Lady, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, has commended Olori Janet, CNN award-winning journalist and Queen of Apomu kingdom, for supporting Apomu market women with interest free loans through Apomu Women Cooperative launched on October 2nd 2020 at the Palace hall in Apomu, Osun State.
In her speech, the First Lady said “I appreciate Olori Afolabi for her efforts at ensuring the takeoff of this project. I have no doubt that it would help to lift many women and homes out of poverty and enhance the standard of living in their homes. I call on other communities in the state which may not have this type of economic development mechanism to emulate Apomu women by floating their own cooperative bodies.
The First Lady, who was the guest of honour at the occasion said she was delighted to have attended the unveiling of Apomu Women cooperative. She added that the importance of women cooperative at this period cannot be over emphasized.
The women were randomly selected, shortlisted and interviewed by experts from LEAD Transformation Initiative. The first batch of the beneficiaries were announced at the event.
Responding, Olori Janet said she initiated the project because “after Covid 19 lockdown many women were unable to resume their trading businesses. Many of them had spent their capital. A lot of them tried to borrow money from families, friends and neighbours but it was very difficult.To help these women start again I came up with Apomu Women Cooperative as my flagship empowerment project to give interest free loans to market women to be paid back over five months.”
The First Lady was accompanied to the event by a large entourage, among them the deputy governor’s wife; commissioner for women affairs; wife of secretary to the state government; wife of commissioner for finance; wife of APC state chairman; wife of special adviser on local government; wife of special adviser on health and wife of special adviser on education.
Others who attended the event include Honourable Ayo Omidiran, former house of representatives member, majority leader of Osun State house of Assembly, local government chairmen of Irewole, Isokan and Irewole North East LCDA, Mr and Mrs Femi and Kemi Titilayo, founder and directors of LEAD Transformation Initiative, and more.
The event had over 500 women in attendance . The Iyaloja of Apomuland, who is the market women leader, in her comment, noted that it was the first time a project like that was launched in Apomu.
Apomu, founded in the 16th century, is the headquarters of Isokan government of Osun State. It was one of the earliest towns that made up the old oyo Empire.