Nigeria: Govt Reiterates Support for Female-Owned Businesses

Abuja — The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, has restated the federal government’s commitment to supporting the operations of women-owned micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Speaking when she received a delegation of the Federation of Women Associations in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FEDWIM) led by its National Coordinator, Mrs. Anne Ugbo, on a courtesy visit in Abuja, the minister said Nigeria’s female entrepreneurs, through their ingenuity have always contributed their quota to national economy.

She said the women therefore, needed to be encouraged for enhanced contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The minister reaffirmed that Nigerian women formed an important constituent of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

She said women-owned businesses were allocated 45 per cent and five per cent for those with special needs in the MSMEs Survival Fund Scheme to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses.

In a statement by Assistant Director, Information, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, Katagum said: “The federal government clearly understands the place of women in economic development of our nation and that is why this Ministry is doing everything possible to support them.

“Among other initiatives, the federal government has also flagged off is the N50billion Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) on non-oil export businesses thereby safeguarding jobs and creating new jobs.

“I use this medium to encourage more women to apply and we also urge associations to mobilise and sensitise their members.”

She, however, commended the association for the achievements recorded so far and advised the delegation to formally write to the ministry, indicating areas of collaboration.

Earlier, Ugbo said the association was in the ministry to brief the minister about its programmes and to solicit support for its members across the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

She also, commended Katagum for her motherly commitment to the well-being of the Nigerian women through her contributions to the MSMEs.

Separately, in her remarks at the recent 7th Empretec Global Summit, held virtually with the theme, “The Role of Entrepreneurship, MSME and Empretec in post COVID-19 Resurgence”, the minister reiterated the federal government’s commitment to the growth of small businesses to boost their contribution to the economy.

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