Women affairs ministry to empower women do business

The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development said it has concluded arrangements to give loans to women in all the 774 local government areas of the country, including FCT, to do business.The Minister of Women Affairs, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, disclosed this during the mid-term review meeting of the 16th regular National Council on Women Affairs Development in Abuja.

She said the ministry is collaborating with the office of the Vice President, through the Grassroots Economic Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF).

She added that the National Centre For Women Development (NCWD) was also working to promote gender agenda.

She also noted that “to this end, the NCWD collated aggregated data on the involvement of women in decision making in the country from 1999 to 2015.It also commenced residential artisan training on different skills for female youth to empower and enable them to have competitive edge over their male counterparts in the traditional vocational enterprise.”

 The minister said that the mid-term review meeting was of immense importance because it would provide the avenue for honest appraisals.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Phylis Nwokedi, said that the purpose of the meeting was to assess the level of implementation of the resolution reached at the last council meeting held in Kaduna.

Represented by the Director of Human Resources, Mrs Anita Shittu, Nwokedi said the meeting was also to identify challenges and gaps encountered in the implementation process, with view to proffering solutions.

Mrs Abidemi Aremu, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, who presented a summary of the decisions reached at the 16th regular National Council meeting held in Kaduna, said 139 memoranda were considered.

She added that out of the 139 memoranda, 65 were for action, 33 were for information and 41 were stepped down for various reasons.

Aremu said that the meeting recommended that state and local governments should develop Strategic Action Plan on Sustainable Developmental Goals.

She also said that the meeting recommended that the ministry should ensure the coordination of gender desk, child development, social development officers and others, to ensure regular training for efficiency and effectiveness in programme delivery.