FG, UN Women collaborate to enhance female entrepreneurship through affirmative procurement

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By Palma Ileye

In a concerted effort to bolster women entrepreneurship across the nation, the Federal Government has said it was joining forces with UN Women to implement Women’s Economic Empowerment, WEE, initiatives, specifically focusing on Affirmative Procurement Reforms.

This is contained in a press release issued by Mrs Grace Njoku, Head, Information and Public Relations of the Ministry.

According to the statement, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, made this announcement during a meeting with a delegation from UN Women at his office in Abuja.

Highlighting the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, the Aduda emphasized limited access to capital, knowledge of available support systems, and intricate procurement processes among the key obstacles hindering their progress.

He stressed the vital importance of prioritizing women’s economic empowerment, asserting that it not only unlocks their full potential but also fosters active participation in nation-building while fortifying them against marginalization.

The Affirmative Procurement Project, he explained, aims to dismantle barriers and address structural challenges impeding the growth and development of women entrepreneurs.

“The overarching objective is to prioritize women in procurement initiatives in Nigeria, thereby strengthening their economic foundations to enable meaningful contributions not only to their families’ well-being but also to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, aligning with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration,” he emphasized.

To ensure the realization of this objective, Aduda revealed the establishment of a National Steering Committee tasked with driving the implementation of the project.

He noted that Kaduna and Lagos States have already piloted a Gender Responsive Procurement Policy and are awaiting gubernatorial consent to commence full-scale implementation.

Expressing gratitude to UN Women for their unwavering support in advancing female entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary announced plans for a National Policy Dialogue on the Project to sensitize key stakeholders and the public on the benefits of Gender Responsive Procurement to the country’s economic development.

Zephania Aura, Acting Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, commended the Ministry of Women Affairs for creating an enabling environment for women’s economic upliftment. He pledged UN Women’s steadfast commitment to Women’s Economic Empowerment, affirming it as a pivotal pathway to scaling up female entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.