WELCOME ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE CHAIRPERSON, LAPO BOARD OF DIRECTORS, PROFESSOR CHRISTIANA OKOJIE AT THE LAPO OUTSTANDING WOMEN LEADERSHIP AWARD CEREMONY HELD AT THE UYI GRAND INT’L EVENT CENTRE, BENIN CITY ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017.

 

Keynote Speaker

Distinguished Guests

Our 2017 Award Winners

Gentlemen of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I heartily welcome you all to the 5th. edition of the LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award (LOWLA), on behalf of the Board of Directors, management and staff Lift Above Poverty Organisation, LAPO.

 

LAPOis a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to the social, health and economic empowerment of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria. The organization was founded by Dr. Godwin Eseiwi Ehigiamusoe in 1987 while working as a Rural Cooperative Officer in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State. Over the years, LAPO has displayed holistic commitment to poverty alleviation through the implementation of innovative credit and non-credit empowerment programmes targeting disadvantaged groups, particularly women.

 

LAPO believes that poverty is not just an issue of lack of funds but more fundamentally a function of exclusion from life transforming opportunities like education and skills. From inception, the organization has been working assiduously with government and critical stakeholders to change social structures, legislations, policies and practices in favour of women and disadvantaged groups. Our programmes address the root causes and manifestations of poverty such as poor health, economic powerlessness, discrimination, ignorance, poor nutrition, social exclusion and gender inequity. Over the years, we have empowered more than one million individuals in target communities with our services and aspire to do more in years to come.

 

LAPOis convinced that recognitions for exceptional service and contributions to societal development are an integral part of any dynamic, vibrant and progressive nation. The LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award, which was instituted in 2013 is a practical demonstration of this conviction and a clear commitment to women empowerment. The Award recognizes and honours women who have distinguished themselves in their various endeavours: Business, Professional and Public Life. It carries a cash prize and a plaque.

 

 

Indeed, Nigerian women are worth celebrating. They have seized and optimized the little opportunities they have to be where they are today. We see Nigerian women run for offices and attain positions at the top echelon of social, economic and professional groups. It therefore makes sense to honour Faith Ovienloba, Professor Obehi Hilda Okojie and Barr. (Mrs) Abimbola Olajumoke Mustapha who shall today receive the LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Awards under the Business, Public and Professional Life categories respectively. We are inspired by their modest contributions to societal development. We congratulate and enjoined them to continue with the good work.

 

We wish to notify you that nominations for the 2018 LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership awardshave been declared open by LAPO. The nominees must be Nigerian women who are above 30 years of age with 10 years minimum working experience. Contestants under the Business Category must own businesses located in Nigeria.Our invited guests can also nominate distinguished Nigerian women for the awards.

 

Our sincere gratitude goes to our paper presenter and distinguished scholar, Professor E.U. Edosomwan, Director, Institute of Gender Studies, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria,who shall be speaking on Women As Pacesetters In National Development,our sub-theme for this year’s International Women’s Day.

 

We appreciate the Chairperson of today’s occasion who always honour our call. We are grateful to all the distinguished personalities who have come here today to celebrate with us.

 

 

Once more, welcome and God bless you all.

 

 

Professor Christiana Okojie

Chairperson, LAPO Board of Directors.

  March 8, 2017