Okwe Obi, Abuja
President, Association of Virtuous Women in Pilgrimage and Tourism of Nigeria (AVWOPAT), Dr. Chy Schiwmmer, has said that pilgrimage sites that are strategically positioned across Nigeria could boost the country’s economy.
Schiwmmer, in an interaction with journalists, in Abuja, explained that countries such Israel, Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia rake in billions of dollars from tourists, a business, she said Nigeria should venture into, at least to shore up the country’s dwindling economy.
She, however, hinted that her organisation had discovered suitable areas where these sites could be situated but pleaded to keep the locations under wraps.
Her words, “When we went to the pilgrimage board. We initiated the idea of developing holy sites in Nigeria which has not been in existence before.
“We visited the vice president through the executive director of pilgrimage board. So we informed him that one of our activities is to focus on developing holy sites in Nigeria to attract other countries to Nigeria just like we go to Israel for pilgrimage and Saudi Arabia,” she said.
This is even as the group accused the federal government of sidelining women from key offices, lamenting that, “35% is not close to the population rate.
“We want the government to give women an enabling environment to thrive economically. The economic status of women is below average.”
She argued that “the woman has to be empowered financially. The government should make it easier for women to go into entrepreneurship by having access to loans.”
Schiwimmer, appealed to the “government to appoint women because we have them with talents,” noting that, “if they have those positions they will be able to bring out what is in them. But when you leave them to struggle with the men then it is unfair.
“The man has already been elevated. So he will keep trampling on the woman in order to maintain his status.
“To curb this trend there has to be a conscious efforts by the government in giving women 50 per cent affirmative action,” she said.