Trade Minister urges business women to take advantage of government’s support
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has advised members of the Association of Nigeria Women Business Network to take advantage of the various business intervention programmes of the Federal Government to grow their businesses.
The intervention programmes, according to the Minister, included the Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) Survival Fund and N50 billion Export Expansion Facility amongst others.
Addressing a delegation of the association on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister said the ministry also have various gender-based programmes such as Gender Initiative for Commodity and Export under the Commodity and Export Department in the ministry and Gender Initiative in the Department of Trade, which can assist them to grow their businesses.
He advised them to come up with their demands as to where the ministry can assist them to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for the good of the association.
Coordinator of the association, Modupe Oyekunle had presented the Minister with a list of challenges affecting the businesses of their members, pointing out that the government must take conscious efforts at addressing the challenges of insecurity in the country.
She noted that some members of the association lost hundreds of millions to the violence that trailed the #Endsars protest in Lagos last year. Besides, some of their members who are farmers could not access their farmland due to the activities of kidnappers and bandits who daily invaded farms and destroy their crops.
She noted that many have lost their farmland to the activities of bandits and kidnappers urging the government to address insecurity in the country.
She also complained of epileptic power supply and access to credit facilities, saying though the government was addressing the issue of infrastructure in the country, it should scale up its activities in this regard for the good of all Nigerians.
Oyekunle said many countries are already preparing to take advantage of the AfCTA and were offering their citizens cheap credit facilities, warning that Nigerian businessmen and women may not be able to compete with their foreign counterparts because of high-interest rates in the country.