The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it has earmarked the sum of N220 billion to develop the capacity of women in the country so that they can contribute their quarter to national development.
The CBN deputy Governor, Dr. Sarah Alade, stated in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on Wednesday at a 2-day national conference for women and development, organized by the Faculty of Social Science of the Nasarawa State University.
She said that the CBN has adopted “a financial inclusion strategy capable of reducing the financial exclusion of women to about 20 percent by 2020”, adding that with the micro finance policy and better regulation and supervision frame work in place, more Nigerian women are optimistic to access funds and engage in commerce and industry soon.
According to Dr. Alade “the bank has earmark 6 percent of N220 billion micro, small and medium enterprises development fund (MSMEDF) towards the provision of financial services to women”.
She further reiterated the commitment of the bank to initiate and promote more gender-friendly programs and policies that will encourage women participation in the political and economic agenda as well as other useful businesses in the country.
Dr. Alade, however, advocated the use of mass mobilization campaign towards breaking traditional believes and gender stereotypes of women, promoting policies that would advance the cause of women and building a coalition of non-governmental organizations and grassroots women associations that would coordinate the support of women into various elective positions in the years to come.
She noted that for any good democratic governance to gain root in Nigeria, women must be given special place in the decision making process to contribute meaningfully to national development.
In his remark, the Vice-chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Mohammed Akaro Mainoma, opined that people should be considered to lead at various levels of governance on the basis of competence, capability and what they can offer without resorting to gender sensitivity, adding that only then the country can attain its development goals.
Professor Mainoma said, development requires different approaches, capacity and engagement and so, women should be given pride place in National life instead of relegating them to the background.
Source : Leadership