Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
Ibarapa in Oyo State is traditionally made up of seven principal towns known as the Ibarapa Meje (Ibarapa Seven), and their surrounding villages and farmsteads. These towns include Igangan, Eruwa, Aiyete, Tapa, Idere, Igbo-Ora, and Lanlate.
Tapa and Aiyete are in Ibarapa North Local Government, Idere and Igbo-Ora are in Ibarapa Central LG, while Lanlate and Eruwa are in Ibarapa East LG. About 30 different villages litter the landscape.
The predominant occupation of the people is farming. As a result, there are few or no industrial firm in the area. The lawmaker representing Ibarapa North, Ibarapa Central in the House of Representatives, Ayoade Olugbenga Ojoawo, in partnership with Boarder Communities Development Agency (BCDA), organized a four-day training for women and youths on soap making and marketing.
The empowerment programme took place organized at Gbodiko town hall, Aiyete in Ibarapa North Local Government between January 16 and 19 2018. Over 150 women and youths were empowered with take off grant. Ojoawo noted that there was need to support women, a reason the programme was organized to make them more relevant in the society:
“What prompted my decision to organize this program is to fulfill one of my campaign promises. I thank the constituents for giving me the privilege to serve them.
“I hail from Abese in Igangan town in Ibarapa North. My parents survived on black soap making and my late wife was also a producer of soap of different varieties. I realized the economic advantages of making soap and I wish our women and youths benefit freely from this business initiative.
“Also, the present economic reality in the country necessitates the need to empower women to reduce financial burden on their husbands and to reduce youths’ restiveness. The trainer will teach them how to make varieties of soaps and their suitabilities for different cleaning and how to market them.
“This will help the women on home management as after they have made money from it, they can as well use the soaps for domestic cleanings. The business of soap making is very lucrative because it is what I do and if they learn it well, it will lead them to financial breakthrough thus, alleviating ravaging poverty among women and youths in the communities.
“This is not the least of the trainings because after this training, other trainings will be offered like event decorations, make-up and facial beauty and other services suitable for women to enhance their financial independence.”