Gender Parity Can Add N230bn To Nigeria's Revenue - Ndidi Nwuneli

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Friday, March 06, 2020 / 02:30 AM / Nifemi Taiyese for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

 

Achieving Gender Parity in Nigeria will add N230bn annually to the nation's revenue base.

 

The Founder of Sahel Consulting Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli disclosed this as the keynote speaker at the 2020 International Women's Day commemoration by the NASD Plc in collaboration with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

 

She decried the fact that with almost 60 years of independence, women in Nigeria only own 10% of the land resources in the country.

 

Citing the McKenzie report, Mrs. Nwuneli noted that Nigeria still ranks low in the global gender parity index, as it is currently ranked 128 out of 153 countries on the index.

 

In terms of financial Inclusion, she noted that men had more bank accounts in the country than women, which is the result of low financial literacy.

 

For women empowerment in Nigeria, she outlined the following areas they need to achieve growth and development;

  • Assets
  • Skills
  • Effective  time management
  • Finance
  • Market intelligence,
  • Access to market linkages
  • Robust support structures
  • Enabling business policies
  • Connected infrastructure.   


 According to her, the United Nations identified violence against women as a crisis on the continent. She warned that the violence rate is rising across Africa, and 11% of women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

 

"Women don't inherit land in some of our cultures, and even in Islam, there is pressure for women to pass the land to their brothers," Nwuneli said.

 

She added, "Faith-based organizations have a powerful role to play in ensuring gender equity and combating financial abuse. Every woman needs to have a Champion, Critic and a mentor/role model to achieve her full potential".

 

 Speaking further, the keynote speaker made a strong case for women to play critical roles in the agricultural sector.  She described the dairy value chain as an example and a source of empowerment for women.

 

She charged women to take the following four actions as they mark their day;

  • Mentor at least one other person
  • Educate at least one other person by paying the fees
  • Groom, a woman to succeed you in your current position
  • Write a will and leave something to your daughter


The MD/CEO of NASD Plc, Mr. Bola Ajomale, in his opening remarks, described the theme of the event "Equal Access To Capital" as apt and captured the essence of supporting women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

 

He said from a recent survey conducted by NASD Plc, 0ver 57% of women entrepreneurs face the most significant hurdle of sourcing finance for their respective businesses.

 

Mr. Ajomale pointed out that it was encouraging to hear that 90% of women were running profitable businesses in Nigeria.

 

The NASD CEO stressed the importance of mentorship and training for women to get knowledge and encouragement for themselves and achieve success for their business.

He urged women to take advantage of digital platforms, which are now becoming critical tools for finding solutions to businesses.

 

The Vice President of the LCCI, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, who represented the President of the Chambers Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, appreciated the initiative of the NASD Plc, which brought to the fore the critical issue of financial Inclusion, as part of activities to commemorate the 2020 international women's day.

 

Mrs. Bakare said, "Issues of gender gaps are very critical to the advancement of the Nigerian economy, and bridging them is essential to engender women's participation in socio-economic activities in the country.

 

She emphasized the importance of financial Inclusion for women, especially those in the informal sector of the economy.

 

The Vice President of LCCI  commended the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the promotion of Financial Inclusion in the economy, mainly the focus and attention given to addressing the gender gaps.

 

She acknowledged that there had been specific commercial facilities and products designed by banks exclusively for women.

 

"The supply and demand side of the provision of financial services to excluded women in our society needs resolution," She said.

 

Looking at the 2020 International Women's Day commemoration, she highlighted the following key issues;

  • The role of women education, the more educated women, are, the more financially included they are likely to be.
  • The issue of trust of formal financial service providers, especially by women entrepreneurs in the rural areas.
  • The weak business case for serving the financially excluded by the financial services providers, which underscore the need to provide appropriate incentives.
  • Imperative of sustaining the regulatory framework to improve the financial Inclusion of women.
  • The use of ICT to drive down the cost of delivery of financial services to improve financial Inclusion.
  • The need to scale up women empowerment programs to boost their income levels. 

The event featured a panel session moderated by Abiola Adekoya MD RMB Nigeria Stockbrokers Ltd. and panellists Mrs. Tomie Balogun Vestract Company, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare General Manager Corporate Banking Sterling Bank, Mrs. Titi Odunifa Founder Samkore Investments, Mrs. Jameelah Aiyedun MD/CEO Credit Bureau Plc.

 

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