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2024 Budget: Allocation for Women Economic Empowerment drops to N12 billion from ₦72billion in 2023

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By Victoria Onehi

The group, under the Partnerships for Advancing Women in Economic Development (PAWED), supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s grant to the development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) have said the proposed 2024 budget of N12.59bn to women, when compared to N78bn in 2023 is unacceptable. 

At a press conference which held recently in Abuja,the women lamented what they called ‘’gross inadequate funding allocated to womens’ economic development in the proposed 2024 budget.’’

They say the proposed 2024 budget of N12.59bn to women, when compared to N78bn in 2023, showed an 82% reduction at a time the government is promoting renewed investment in women’s economic empowerment under its renewed Hope Agenda. 

‘’Women representatives came together to spend one full day reviewing the 2024 proposed budget estimates for women’s economic empowerment. While we are happy to note the allocation of 12.59 billion naira for women’s economic empowerment projects in the 2024 estimates, we observe that this allocation represents an 82% reduction from the 2023 allocation of ₦72billion. We are even more concerned to note that we see only  99 WEE projects in the 2024 budget compared to 164 projects in the 2022 budget.”

The press conference addressed by National President NECA National Entrepreneurship Women Chief Funmilayo Arowoogun, said the review was extended to include economic empowerment lines in the budget targeting combined beneficiary groups of women, youth and others.  We saw that the 2024 budget captured 107 WEE projects for women, youth and others. 

Other members of the group are the Association of Women Enterprenuers (AWITA), the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE), and the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS).

The women also added that compared with the 2023 provisions, which had over 442 WEE projects for women, youth and others, the 2024 proposed has only 107 projects.

‘’ Even when the ₦12.57 billion allocation to the WEE lines targeting women, youth and others is added to the ₦12.59 allocation for women-only WEE projects, the 2024 allocation for WEE remains the lowest since 2019. Less than one per cent of the 2024 budgetary capital allocation is dedicated to women’s economic empowerment. In 2023, almost 2% of the annual capital budget was allocated to WEE.

While we appreciate the Federal Government’s commitment to the economic empowerment of Nigeria’s women as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda, Mrs Arowoogun said, the group also recognised the nation’s tight fiscal space, ‘’we believe that reduced funding for WEE will impact negatively on the achievement of government’s WEE targets.’’ She added

The group, therefore, appeal to the Federal government for an upward, more gender-disaggregated and beneficiary-specific review of the 2024 budget allocation for WEE so that the laudable commitments of the Renewed Hope Agenda can be achieved. Together, we can work towards a more inclusive and economically empowered Nigeria. 

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