BoI Disburses N20.5 Billion To 346 Female Entrepreneurs- Official

The Bank of Industry (BoI) said on Thursday that it had disbursed over N20.5 billion in 2017 to 346 enterprises owned by women.

The Managing Director of BoI, Kayode Pitan, made the disclosure at the bank’s celebration of the 2018 International Women’s Day in Lagos.

The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 annually to recognise the roles of women and seek gender equality and women empowerment.

The theme of the 2018 celebration is: “Press for Progress”.

Mr. Pitan was represented by Waheed Olagunju, BoI’s Head of SMEs.

He said the bank recognised the role, achievements and contributions of women entrepreneurs to the development of the nation’s economy.

The managing director said the disbursement impacted positively on livelihood, job creation and GDP growth.

Mr. Pitan said the bank had earmarked N22 billion for 2018 to support women businesses and build on past successes to drive economic growth and recovery.

He reiterated BoI’s commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs through the bank’s Gender Business Group promoting women enterprises through innovative, financial and business support services.

He said the bank would continue to equip women with requisite skills and knowledge aimed at driving entrepreneurship growth.

According to him, supporting women can unleash, ”a strong force for innovation, productivity, wealth creation and economic growth”.

Earlier, Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the Federal Government would continue to support female entrepreneurs to boost inclusive and virile economic growth.

The minister was represented by Temitope Gbamgboye, a Director in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Mrs. Abubakar said that the government would not hesitate to expand its programmes to encourage more women to embrace entrepreneurship.

UN Urges Federal Government To Increase Investment In Women And Peace

The United Nations (UN) has urged the federal government to increase its investment in the development of women on the promotion of peace in the country.

Deputy secretary general of the UN, Amina Mohammed made the call yesterday when she met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.

She said, the UN team led by herself was at the villa to discuss the implementation of the agenda 2030 but also 2063 and see how Nigeria could be supported especially in regards to the development of women.

The UN deputy scribe who served as minister of Environment before her current position to the world organization explained that in achieving the desire of promoting women development, the Federal Government needs to begin to put women at the center of it affairs.

She said “I am honoured to be leading a delegation with the focus on peace and development of women.

“With me we the chief executive of the UN women, we also have our special representative on women and conflict, we also have with us, our partner the AU, the special adviser also on peace, women, and development.

“All our regional heads partnering together with the ministry of women affairs and the support of the minister of for national planning,”

The UN representative also said they are pondering on ways to support Nigeria.

It’s an exciting time to be here because really we are talking about the implementation of the agenda 2030 but also 2063 and for us, it’s about how do we support Nigeria and it’s a very difficult context to do more and to do scale so every body feels it.

She included that though they face challenges, they also have success stories.

“We know that there are many lessons that have learned and there are challenges that we have but we have some successes from the North East all the way to the South.

“We want to make sure that we do more so that we can see the scale of this, particularly from the women at the centre.

Transforming a Nation, One Woman at a Time By Chioma Dike

When African governments and donors treat the agricultural sector in Africa as a commercially viable sector, there is a potential to create millions of jobs and dollars in revenue. This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 5 and 9 (Poverty, gender equality and economic growth, respectively). Supporting the agriculture sector, agro-allied businesses and specifically women farmers, boosts the national economy, increases national food supply and exports, empowers women and provides healthier food choices for our families.

Growing non-oil commodities diversifies national wealth creation and when we support female farmers and agro-allied business and entrepreneurs, we are helping them to dream big and to expand their farms towards exporting their Nigerian-made products. As noted by Tony Elumelu, local farmers need “investments that promote mechanized farming and processing, as well as capital to provide key infrastructure supportive of sustained growth in the agriculture sector.”

Increase national food supply and exports
As a nation, we need to look inward in terms of food security and supply of home grown products for consumption. Looking inward also means not being heavily reliant on imported or processed foods including baby foods. One must be able to provide children and the entire household the very best in nutritional value, while saving money, by buying locally; thereby, enhancing Nigeria’s food security and local consumption.

Also by supporting the local female farmers, we are directly powering entrepreneurial investment, supporting women-owned businesses and most importantly helping to put money back into her household that will feed her children.
Research (by the United Nations’ Women) shows that a woman’s economic empowerment can have positive influence on her health, educational pursuits, and that of her children. It also increases her access to information, and equips her with skills to grow a business – which all affect the growth and health of her household, the community and supports all efforts of sustainable development. Women make up 70% of the world’s working hours and earn only 10% of the world’s income and half of what men earn. This leads to greater poverty, slower economic growth and a lower standard of living.

Empowering women farmers can also come in the form of promoting women co-op societies to enhance the growth of women-led wealth creation within communities, conducting vocational skill training with business capital tools, promoting small-scale industries and commercial activities among women – with a tailored focus on women in rural areas, and increasing the number of women accessing finance.

Providing healthier food choices for families
Healthier meals are simply those that are not highly processed, and are fresh from the farm to the table because they provide nutrients in their raw state and are generally more nourishing. For the moms who are the captains in selecting the meals for the household, please note that the more you deviate from that which is natural, the more risks you are taking when feeding your children and household. Natural whole foods should be the number one option for feeding the household especially when you factor in the by-products of highly processed foods, some of which can lead to cancer, and other health-related issues all adding up to a high infant and maternal mortality rate.

The way a child is fed during the very critical infant age, can affect the child into adulthood and the entire duration of his/ her life. This is why it is extremely essential to give your child the daily vitamins and minerals required for healthy living and these are primarily found in whole unprocessed foods. The organic grains, beans, yams, fruits and vegetables found in the local market are all acceptable here.
These and more are just some of the vital reasons to support women in agriculture. Farming holds a special significance in building the national economy. The agriculture sector is key in sustainable development and its overall effect in industry diversification is vital for Nigeria’s prosperity. In countries around the world today, both developed and underdeveloped, sustainable farming is encouraged for national food security.

The Abuja Declaration on Participatory Development holds that: “sustainable development can only be achieved with the full participation of women.” Programs and activities should be developed to encourage women farmers. For some women to participate in growing the agricultural sector, potential farmers must be provided with seed capital, access to inputs, crop seeds, credits and extension services, as well as accessing the necessary machinery and training. There are many types of farming that women farmers can pursue: poultry and fish farming, rearing of snails and piggery farming, to name a few. Food processing, especially dried foods, such as fruits and other perishable foods, are on the rise. Dried fruits and foods such as plaintain chips can be processed in different ways and sold for economic gains for the farmer, the processor, the exporter and the nation as a whole. All of these are more than sufficient reasons why women should be aggressively and deliberately positioned for economic empowerment.

Buhari Canvasses Gender Equality

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has challenged governments at all levels to rise to the global challenge of ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Mrs Buhari gave the challenge in her message to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.

She appealed all stakeholders to rise to the global challenge of ensuring the achievement of the goals in line with the objective of sustainable development goals.

The Director of Information, Office of the wife of the President, Mr Suleiman Haruna, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that Mrs Buhari congratulated the Nigerian women and women all over the world on the event.

She reaffirmed her commitment to the cause of women through her initiative, “Future Assured”. .

According to her, the event has provided yet another opportunity to reflect on the condition of women both at the global arena and national level with a view to providing a way forward for the betterment of the Nigerian women.

“Today is a historic day in the struggle for the uplift Women across the continents.

“I recall with happiness the series of steps taken at different levels to drive attention to the plight of women in the areas of health, education and opportunities in the scheme of things.

“However it is my wish therefore to felicitate with fellow Nigerian women and women all over the world on this very memorable and important day,’’ she added.

The wife of the president also urged the women not to be discouraged by the seeming socio-economic challenges they had been experiencing in their journey towards greatness in the society.

He said: “As you may be aware, records have shown that women are the most vulnerable and poorest group globally.

“In Nigeria, this gap exists as a result of socio-economic and other factors. Despite these challenges that women face in their journey, however, they must not be deterred as they are the fountain of wisdom and endurance.’’

Nigeria Earmarks N1.6bn Quarterly for Women Empowerment

The Federal Government of Niogeria says it has earmarked N1.6 billion for women empowerment every three months in its Enterprise and Employment Programme (GEEP) and National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF).

The Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aishat Alhassan, made this known to women at the State Banquet Hall, Ilorin during a two-day working visit to Kwara.

The Minister said she was in the state to intimate the women on the various social investment programmes organised by the Federal Government to better the lots of its citizens.

Alhassan further said the programme has five pillars: the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer and the job creation programme known as N’ Power.

Others she said were the Bursary Award System and the Government Enterprise and Employment Programme, aimed at alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment among the citizens.

Credit Loans

The minister also told the women that government was working in collaboration with Bank of Industry to give micro credit loans without collateral to people interested in small scale business and at free interest rate.

She said government would want interested citizens to form cooperative groups before they could be eligible for the loan.

Alhassan said government was considering the option of starting the loan with N10, 000 to 100, 000 for a test-run of the programme but urged those who had taken the loan to repay as and when due.

She also appealed to women to key into the various Federal Government empowerment programmes lined up for them by.

Speaking during the event, the Governor’s wife, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, commended the minister for the visit.

She called on the women in the state said her office was working in synergy with Bank of Industry to facilitate credit loans for women in the state.

Ahmed described Kwara women as focused, go-getters and highly serious minded people.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Asiata Saka, described the minister’s visit as timely.

She said it was an opportunity for Federal Government to make useful contributions to the issues affecting the development and wellbeing of women in the state.

Saka said that empowering women through the various federal government programmes would enhance their full participation in finding lasting solution to the current economic reality of the country.

The commissioner added that the state ministry of Women Affairs had organised skill acquisition and training programmes for women and youths in various skills.

Financial Inclusion

She said the state government had introduced micro credit revolving loan for women through Bank of Agriculture and the Kwara Commercial Micro Finance Bank to improve their financial inclusion.

The commissioner said the state government had empowered the physically challenged by assisting graduates of Farm Craft Centre for the blind with N5 million and distributed mobility aids to them.

She said the state government was committed to curbing the scourge of child abuse, hawking and sexual harassment.

Saka noted that sexual harassment could constitute psychological depression, stigma, pregnancy, infection and damage to organs and eventually lead to death, if not checked.


Women Empowerment: 300 Persons Trained In Osun

A philanthropist organisation sheltered by the United African states, deem it worthy to train 300 persons(women) in different areas of being self-employed, such as batik,bead making, fashion designing,tye and dye among all others, in prospect to make them self reliant.


specking on the intentions of the organisation,Ambassador, Nurudeen Ogunlade, said the initiative  was designed to empower the women economically as a strategy to reduce poverty in the society in line with the vision 2020.

Ogunlade said the women drawn from all the 30 local government areas in Osun state, have been equipped with different skills and would also be exposed to international markets to sell their products.He added that his organization in collaboration with another group known as All Work of Life (AWOL), is assisting Osun women on capacity building and guiding them through the business side of their trades.

Ogunlade said his organization also plans to cultivate the women to be advocates of world peace, free expression, environmental harmony, universal human love and appreciation of native culture.He said the women in Osun would also be mobilised and encouraged to lend their voices to the war that has been waged against corruption and corrupt individuals by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ogunlade then went ahead to commend the Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for the massive infrastructural development in the state, particularly in the aspect of road constructions, newly built schools and other projects that targeted the women and children in the state including the school feeding programme.

He however disclosed that out of the 300 women that participated in the training, 20 would be taken to a Business Expo Exhibition in Belize, near Cuba in Central America, to showcase their made in Nigeria products.

photo credit:channels new

Women Farmers Charge Osun Assembly to Provide More Farmlands

The country director of USAID and National Coordinator of women farmers, Dr. Abiola Afolabi yesterday called on the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to provide enough farmlands that would enable women practice agric.

In his response, the chairman, Osun House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Hon Ibrahim Abdullahi, assured the group that the state lawmakers would do their best to influence women activities positively in the state.

Afolabi also used the opportunity to call on the National Assembly to enact a law that would empower women to be fully secured while on their farmlands.

She said, “Findings have revealed that more women than men engage in agriculture while many of the female farmers are being discouraged from engaging in farming because of many challenges ranging from inability of female farmers to own farmland to lack of gender sensitive policies that can protect the special needs of the women.”

Speaking at the event, Osun Women Leader of Small Holders Women Farmers, Chief Mrs Janet Olaleye, remarked that, “government at all levels have not taken women farmers serious”. The group would like that to change.