Over 1200 women from 123 local government areas in 12 states across Nigeria have benefited from an empowerment initiative targeted at rural transformation to impact women’s participation in entrepreneurship development.
The workshop, organised by the Peace Advocacy and Community Initiative (PACDIN), in partnership with the National Center for Women Development (NCWD), with theme, ‘Rural Women and Youths Accessibility of Micro Finance Facility for Rural SMEs Development and Growth in Nigeria’, aims at improving access and development opportunities for all Nigerian entrepreneurs, particularly rural women.
The chairman, PACDIN, Muhammed Yusuf, said, they organized the programme to complement what the Federal Government is doing to uplift the lives of rural women and because of their passion for rural women economic transformation.
“We key into this and we are out to make life better for the rural women by forming cooperative societies and introducing them to what the government has aligned for them in terms of economic empowerment and access to loan facilities through cooperative societies.”
The Director General, NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta said, the decision to organise this workshop comes on the heels to reposition women to take advantage of the numerous government programs on financial inclusion and grants for Small and Medium scale enterprises.
“The CBN has rolled out several financial packages to ameliorate the effect of biting economy and also empower citizens who are in business. Notable of these programmes is the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) and the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank designed to promote and boost the efforts of local entrepreneurs,” she said.
Representing the beneficiaries, Mrs Shote Abiola said government at all levels should ensure effective gender mainstreaming in all of their SMEs intervention at the national, State and LGAs levels and also adopt policies that improves the lot of women entrepreneurs in the country.