Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) has urged federal and state governments to see maternal mortality as a national emergency that must be seriously addressed to reduce its high rate.

This was part of the communique issued at the end of its 19th National Women Conference which ended on Thursday at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

It also urged government at all levels to empower women, saying there was strong need to invest effectively in maximising the capacity of women.

The communique reads: “Maternal mortality is abysmally high; the death of a woman is more grievous than the death of a man. Maternal mortality is taken for granted in Nigeria and this must be seen as a national emergency.

“An empowered and educated woman would raise empowered children, as a nation we need to invest effectively in maximising the capacity of women.

“All stakeholders – families, schools, religious bodies, communities and government – must, therefore, play active roles in nurturing the child to be upright, hardworking, result-oriented, focused, organised and have the fear of God. Moulding a child is a collective responsibility. Every child should have access to quality education.”

Noting that there are limitless opportunities in entrepreneurship, COWLSO also urged the people to see it as a vital way out of financial difficulties.

The committee admonished residents to imbibe voluntary compliance to laws and well-being.

“Government at all levels must continue to partner the private sector to develop and implement strategies that will showcase the nation’s potential in entertainment and tourism to the world.

“Every society must seek to evolve its own legal instrument through the culture of voluntary compliance to the laws of waste and traffic management.

“Also, well-being is a satisfactory condition of existence and wellness is more than being free from illness but a dynamic process of change and growth,” the communique said.

The committee urged women to strive to be total in all aspects of their live.

“A total woman is a profitable daughter, an extraordinary woman, a celebrated mother and award-winning woman,” it added.

COWLSO Chairman and Lagos State governor’s wife Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said it was gratifying that the conference had been positively impactful.

She urged participants to make good use of the lessons they learnt during the three-day conference.

“We’ve had three days of mind-shifting trainings and brainstorming on how to equip women and position them to key into the emerging opportunities in our dear state. Several papers have been presented on the main theme, which centres on unlearning, Olu hailed the COWLSO executives and members for putting a brilliantly impactful conference together.

He advised women to be the ambassadors of his administration.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Folashade Jaji, said: “I want to believe that we have all unlearnt; we have learnt and we are going to relearn because learning is a life-long thing. Our take-away is that after this conference, we owe a lot to this administration because we are all part of this administration.

“We are all going to be the ambassadors of what the government is doing; we are going to be the role models for those things they have asked us to do. I hope that we won’t allow it to just end here; we are going to be the ambassadors of this administration so that we can all together achieve the greater Lagos of our dear governor.”

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, congratulated COWLSO for the success of the conference.

He urged women to ensure that the knowledge and skill-sets they acquired at the conference are put to good use.

Several mouth-watering prizes, including two houses, cars, return tickets to London, Dubai and Ghana, cash rewards, deep freezers, cooking gas, television sets, washing machines, exquisite beds, among others, were won by some of the participants at the conference.

A-list artistes, including Tope Alabi, Teni the Entertainer and others, performed at the gala night of the conference.

Awards were also presented to deserving women, like Senior Pastor of DayStar Christian Centre, Pastor Nike Adeyemi; wife of Deputy General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor (Mrs) Siju Iluyomade and President of Elishama Ideh Ministry and former presidential aspirant, Elishama Ideh, among others.

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