The World Bank has appraised the Ogun State government qualified for the second phase of the Nigeria For Women Project (NFWP), as it has demonstrated its commitment as a proactive partner in terms of Women empowerment and poverty alleviation.

This was made known by the Task Team Leader of NFWP( a World Bank sponsored initiative), Mr. Michael Ilesanmi during a meeting with Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, in Abeokuta.

The Task Team Leader of NFWP, Mr. Michael Ilesanmi, praised Ogun State's efforts, citing them as an exemplary model for others to follow, saying the State's dedication to addressing challenges proactively has gained recognition on both national and international levels.

 Ilesanmi revealed that the World Bank recently approved a scale-up of $500 million for the Federal Government programme. Adding that the state has already met all the required criteria, enabling a swift start to implementation, which marks a significant milestone for Ogun State and solidifies its position as a pioneer in women's empowerment and poverty alleviation,

Welcoming the team, the Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, applauded the World Bank for being a great partner in the NFWP programme. He noted that the proactiveness of the government in promoting social welfare programmes for the financial inclusion of women has positioned the state as the leader in the NFWP.

He noted that Ogun State's unique approach to the project was leveraging women's affinity groups as platforms for addressing multiple development issues, saying the state is positioned to link the beneficiaries to health insurance, facilitate financial inclusion by exploring how to document the creditworthiness of these groups, prove their reliability in repayment, and make them attractive prospects for financial services.

Okubadejo added that the state government has been particularly deliberate in promoting collective women's groups in agriculture by bringing women together to address issues of value chain development, adding that this approach allows women to pool resources, add value to their produce, and negotiate better prices, ultimately improving their livelihoods.

Other dignitaries at the meeting are the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Melutia Ogunremi, and the State Coordinator of the NFWP, Mrs. Bolanle Fadairo, among others.

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