Address Delivered By The Governor Of The State Of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, At The Inauguration Of The State’s Market Women Board, Held At Bola Ige House Car Park, Abere, On Monday August 26, 2013.
I am happy to gather with you today for the inauguration of the State of Osun Market Women Board. Today’s event is necessary for the purpose of organisation for which we do not yet have an alternative. No human society can function without organisation, not to mention a government that sees to the wellbeing of society. Consequently, governing boards are part of the machinery of government. It is against this background that we are this day inaugurating the Market Women Board in the State of Osun.
This Board is an important one because it deals with a crucial part of our system –the market and its critical human upholder, the women. Markets are an important component of trade and commerce, and so are market women. It would be difficult to imagine the idea and functioning of the market without considering the women, especially in our part of the world. The womenfolk are vital sustainers of the market here; any long-term inhabitant of the State of Osun can easily notice this fact. In the history of Yoruba land, women have long been associated with market and marketing activities. Indeed, trading and marketing activities have been a key factor in the phenomenon of urbanisation for which Yoruba people have been noted from ancient times; but we must always remember that our women have been, and still are, a significant –if not the most significant – part of these activities.
However, the importance of market is not restricted to the people of old. Trade and commerce, as a matter of fact, has in modern times acquired far greater significance than ancient people could ever have contemplated. Trade and commerce are now a vital part of the economy of any country. And there can be no economic growth and material prosperity without the market. To be sure, the whole concept of industrial capitalism is centred on the idea of the market. Hence, in today’s world market is of the essence! The notion of economic growth, development and material prosperity is predicated on the fact that the goods that are produced must be sold, for which market is a requirement.
This is no less true with regard to our own situation. Trade and commerce are also central to our development drive in the State of Osun. All our policies and programmes are connected in one way or another with market and marketing activities. A good instance is our Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O’REAP), which right from its conception, to planning and execution is linked to the lucrative daily food market in Lagos. It is indeed for this purpose that the ultra-modern regional market at Dagbolu is being constructed. It is also the major reason behind our partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation to revitalise the railway transport from Osogbo to Lagos, which has since been in full operation. Our ultimate aim, as I have said elsewhere, is to ‘create a produce and commodity market for goods produced, both locally and imported, in Osun where people would buy at the price they buy in Lagos which in our belief would promote commercial activities and peoples’ income within the shortest time.
This further explains why trade and commerce are also a core component of our Six-Point Integral Action Plan. This is because we are fully aware that trade and commerce are an important way of economically empowering our people, as reflected in the emphasis we place on entrepreneurial training for women and youths. It is also the reason behind our effort at reorganising our marketing activities in the state by building befitting modern markets across our towns and cities. We want to ensure that these important commercial activities are properly structured, taken off the streets, and conducted in appropriate locations that are specially built for them.
For our effort to succeed, it is necessary to get our women involved and carry them along. The establishment and inauguration of a Market Women Board is a statement of the importance we place on our market women in the state. It is our belief that through the Board, the required smooth working relation and liaison would be facilitated between policy makers, the implementers and the beneficiaries, as well as other stakeholders. This will help maximise the benefits that the State of Osun and its good people can derive from their market and marketing activities.
I will also admonish our market leaders to take cognizance of development in the concept of ‘market’. The old definition of market as a geographical location for buying and selling has become antiquated. New thinking now suggests that a market needs not be confined to a geographical location. In an ever shrinking global village, exchange of goods and services is done continents apart with the laptops and mobile phones. People now buy goods (pay for and receive them) without leaving the comfort of their bedroom. This is an unstoppable wave that is rolling on the world for which our country and state cannot avoid. We need to get fully into it before it takes our market out of our hand.
I thank you all for encouraging presence.
Osun a dara!