By Victoria Onehi
Only 23 per cent of women have access to government credits like those in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions, Action Aid Nigeria has said.
Food and Agriculture Programmes coordinator, Action Aid Nigeria and Chairman National Gender Steering Committee for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture for Nigeria Azubike Nwokoye, said this in Abuja.
He made the statement when the committee, AWITA and dRPCs Partnerships for Advancement of Women Economic Empowerment (PAWED) paid an advocacy visit to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.
“About 77 per cent of Nigerian women lack access to government credits like those in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions. Only 23 per cent of women have access to such interventions, which is low.
“For the first time in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had come up with a gender policy in agriculture because of the large gap in terms of the variability of women across Nigeria, especially in the agricultural sector.”Nwokoye said.
Representative of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Director Employment and Industrial Relations Department, Mrs Omoabie Akpan said it was good the commitee came so they could hear those economic windows that they can leverage on for the purpose of mainstreaming gender policy on agriculture in Nigeria.
She said Agricprenurship is an innovation by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to ensure that serving Civil servants that express interest in agriculture can start being trained officially to engage in agriculture including those exiting the service that have the interest to be empowered.
“I am happy about the different aspects that you feel that we can collaborate or synergise with your team to ensure that the goals are met but I will also request that perhaps you can also articulate some in a document so that officially we present the areas that we could work together.”Akpan said.
President, Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA) Mrs Ruth Agbo,said it was good that the Federal Government was training Civil Servants who were about retiring in Agricprenurship as this will help them when they retire.
“We want to believe and trust that as you are doing this training,you will also be carrying us along and putting us side by side the training programmes so we can be more empowered as smallholder farmers and contribute our quota to the economy.
“I want to mention that the Development Research Projects Centre (dRPC) project, Partnership for Advancing Women Economic Empowerment (PAWED) as a body into putting the women collectives together for Economic Empowerment is also ever ready to use their platform to upgrade us.” Agbo said.