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Only N10 billion out of one trillion naira Covid-19 intervention funds allocated to women-PAWED

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By Victoria Onehi

Out of  N1.24 trillion Covid-19 intervention financial allocation for 2020- 2023, only N10 billion or 0.85percent of the money are allocated for women,a report released by the Partnership for Advancing Women In Economic Development (PAWED) has revealed.

While presenting the report titled Targeting of Women for Stimulus Relief in Covid-19 lines of the 2021 – 2023 National budget’ in Abuja on Tuesday, Research Associate of the Development Research and Project Center (dRPC),Kareem Abdulrasaq revealed that there is no specific Covid-19 intervention budget line targeted at women economic collectives between 2021- 2023.

The report further revealed that only 15 of the 274 Covid-19 intervention projects have women target in the national budgets for 2021 – 2023 which make-up 5.47 percent of the overall figure.

Earlier, while presenting her paper tiited Covid-19 Stimulus programmes and Women Economic Collectives, Beneficiaries or Onlookers,the President Nigeria  Economic Society Prof Ummu Jaliingo, said government should push to know where funds for Covid-19 interventions went to.

Jaliingo said though interventions are on spot and on target, if targets are missed, misplaced and misaligned,then corrective measures have to be taken.

She highlighted the challenges posed by interventions in Nigeria to include diversion of funds, poor records and data capturing of interventions and interventions tending to be operated in silos. 

Corroborating this,the Director General of the National Centre for Women Development Hajiya Asabe Vilita said many government ministry and agencies came up with palliatives to cushion the effect of Covid-19 but it was not enough. “Giving little foodstuffs as palliatives is not enough,our government must be proactive and find a way to create jobs for its citizens and employment for its people.”Vilita said.

The President of Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs(NAWE) Barrister Vera Ndanusa,said though the CBN cane out with intervention funds for Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),it was targeted at those in the formal sector.

“We heard monies were released but these monies were not judiiously implemented.It is just a fragment that got it.Also,the mode of implementation was not transperent. That is why we are taking stocks in this workshop and when we take stock data will be made available for improvement.”Ndanusa said.

Part of the recommendations from the PAWED report is that government must improve the involvement of women in the design and implementation of the post Covid-19 intervention accross level. Also, that government must increase and simplify funding access for women- owned MSMEs and increase awareness of the existing Covid-19 interventions.projects and funds.

The one day workshop with the theme ‘Non- Targeting of Women Economic Collectives by the Covid-19 Stimulus programme at the National and Sub national levels’ was organised by the Development Research and Project Center (dRPC) under it’s anchored project Partnership for Advancing Women In Economic Development (PAWED).

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