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Gender equality is vital in boosting economic growth – NESG

Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has called for improved gender balance across board in order to achieve sustainable economic development in Nigeria with inputs from the female population.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the NESG community of practice on gender, Niyi Yusuf, vice chairman, NESG, stated that over time, the NESG had noticed that issues relating to groups such as gender, youth and Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) might not be optimally resolved within the Policy Commissions structure with which it operates.

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“As a group that share concern and passion to achieve a common, Communities of practice moves to tackle these central issues that will guarantee a sustainable and vibrant Nigerian economy by the year 2050,” Yusuf said.

Delivering a presentation on the Gender Community of Practice, head, Corporate Services at the NESG Nkechi Onyenso stated that the approach for NESG Gender CoP will allow key stakeholders/individuals across private and public sector groups collectively own and champion the issues around women through the NESG’s structured approach of deliberating, agreeing and advocating on policy focal points.

Furthermore, the CoP will act as a facilitating block for addressing policy areas regarding women and interactions with the Policy Commissions and ensure deliberate focus on the key issues affecting women are paid attention to and addressed effectively.

Ultimately, the NESG Gender Community of Practice will convene for policy, legislative and environmental changes that close the women gap and ensure they can be incorporated in the 2050 calendar of economic development. she added that going forward the dialogue will continue until impacts are made and results are achieved.

In an interview, she said, “For an inclusive economy we need to clap with both hands everyone needs to participate actively in order to foster economic growth. What we want to do is to help women structure their business in the best possible way and train them to become entrepreneurs in line with global best practices.

“We are collaborating with the federal government as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector in order to achieve the plans included in the 2050 NESG agenda for economic prosperity,” Onyenso said.

At the meeting, discussions centred on equity in law, education and skills, financial literacy and empowerment and gender parity in business which she said will form the strategic direction which will focus on implementation and advocacy.

Ngover Ihyembe Nwankwo, chairperson, executive council, Women in Business (WIMBIZ) in an interview said statistics show that Nigeria had regressed in fostering inclusion and gender balance both in the private sector and the public sector, adding that the idea is to brainstorm on how to get more women in leadership position.

Speaking on the role of WIMBIZ, Nwankwo, who is also the head coverage at Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria, said, “Wimbiz is the catalyst that seeks to elevate the status and influence of women and our contribution to nation-building and we focus on advocacy and empowering women to achieve this.”

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