• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Stakeholders advise prioritizing female empowerment for comprehensive growth

Stakeholders advise prioritizing female empowerment for comprehensive growth

Stakeholders in the business climate have advised that Nigeria needs to prioritize female empowerment and representation in order to achieve comprehensive growth and sustainable development in the economy and the country at large.

This was discussed at the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) celebration of the 2022 international women’s day themed ‘break the bias; break the barriers and shatter the ceiling’ held in Lagos.

Abdulrashid Yerima, national president, NASME, said that there is a need to draw attention to the huge potentials of women entrepreneurs to the society and the economy and create more opportunities for them to thrive, adding that efforts to develop women will go a long way to achieving our national aspirations.

“Contributions made by this segment of the population contributes greatly to the country’s GDP, in addition, Africa’s push for regional integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) creates opportunities for businesses across the continent and beyond especially if businesses led by women and young entrepreneurs are enabled to take advantage,” he said

Yerima added that better use of Nigeria’s female population could increase economic growth, reduce poverty, enhance societal wellbeing and help ensure sustainable development in the country.

Toki Mabogunje Immediate past president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and principal consultant at TMC consult said in her address said women are key contributors to the development of any country however issues of women exclusion, inequality, discrimination, low participation in politics and decisions remain a bane.

Read also: AfCFTA: Nigerian exporters drilled on coping with supply issues to conquer the African market

“Nigeria will become more prosperous if they have more women involved in productivity and economic activity, women need to fight for leadership, get involved in politics, and ensure that they stand to lead along with the men so we can have a better country and ensure that generation coming after us will meet a better Nigeria,” she said.

Comfort Lamptey, Representative of UN Women to Nigeria and ECOWAS said women play an important role in the society and the world at large, especially in times such as this when everyone has to adapt to a new normal as they recover from the socio-economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lamptey who was represented by Patience Ekechukwu, program officer, UN Women Nigeria added that women and girls’ rights have to be prioritized and advanced globally, adding that the UN is increasingly prioritizing the positioning of women to benefit from the economy of social transition.

“As part our mandate, the UN Women is committed to supporting organizations that utilize opportunities to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision making as it relates to sustainability, entrepreneurship development and has provided significant investment in driving this,” she said.

In his goodwill message, Ogho Okiti, managing director, BusinessDay said no matter the size of their business, women are always readily available to support their families and the society at large which has an impact on the country in the present day and the future.

“Any economy that neglects women cannot really fulfil its potential, I believe as we continue to support women in various ways like banks providing credit, government supporting them with voices and other businesses support them in any way they can, that is when we can really fulfil our potential,” he said.