• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Over 550 businesses benefit from BOI’s business resilience initiative

BoI disburses N989m Cassava Bread Fund to 100 beneficiaries

Over 550 businesses in Kano, Gombe, and Edo have benefitted from the Bank of Industry’s ‘Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprise (BRAVE)’ Women Nigeria project, an initiative that seeks to help women-owned businesses thrive in a constraining environment.

Olukayode Pitan, managing director/Chief Executive Officer, BOI revealed this while speaking at an event in celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) themed ‘Break the Bias’ organized by the BOI.

He also said that this project carried out with Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will be the first of several such interventions over the next two to three years, adding that later this year, these businesses will also be eligible to apply for the grant-matching portion of the scheme.

In his address, he said that as an organization, BOI remains firm in its resolve to empower women with more opportunities for them to thrive and prosper adding that the bank will continue to do more to eliminate bias, while actively promoting and supporting women in the industry.

He mentioned that BOI has also committed no less than $30 billion in boosting women-owned businesses in Nigeria especially as these businesses make recovery efforts post-pandemic adding that the bank is constantly working to bridge gaps created by bias and remains committed to providing equal opportunities to its employees.

“BOI invested $10 million in the Alitheia Fund towards supporting Nigerian women-led businesses, some of which will be export-oriented, in addition, the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund, a partnership between the BOI and Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has allocated $20 million as an intervention fund to women businesses in the oil and gas sector,” he explained.

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Pitan urged individuals to work towards achieving a more inclusive world where differences and individuality are valued and celebrated, as they become mindful of their words and actions, while they practice empathy and embrace diversity.

In her address, Mariam Katagum, minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said as humans, there is the tendency to form opinions or prejudices about individuals or groups in a way that may be unfair which can be an innate or learned behavior over time.

“The most common type of bias is gender bias, which represents subconscious or conscious attitudes that form the majority of perceptions about a specific gender usually the female gender, these biases hinder women’s progress and make it more difficult to create a level playing field in whatever decision or career choice they make,” she said.

She urged private and public sector players, to break the bias limiting the advancement of women across all occupations, adding that this will be instrumental in accelerating the economic growth and development of the nation.

“It is important to state that promoting gender equality and gender justice is a collaborative effort by all stakeholders and involves concerted policy efforts targeted at encouraging businesses to provide equal earning and employment opportunities for both genders, providing career guidance, and advocating for more women in politics and governance,” she said.