Mrs Laraba Shoda, the President, National Council of Women’s Societies, says rural women are finding it ‘extremely difficult’ to access the various government intervention funds put in place to cushion the effect of COVID-19.
Shoda made the revelation on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
She regretted that intervention put in place by this government to assist traders, especially market women, has rigorous procedures to access.
She said “Is it a woman who cannot use WhatsApp that will access the intervention fund and even when you tell them to fill a form and attach BVN and she will say ‘Do you want to steal all my money from my account’ and many of them don’t even know what BVN is.”
She alleged that the disbursement of the anchor borrower’s scheme has been hijacked by the cooperative societies who only allow their members to benefit from the loan.
“There is a problem with the anchor borrower’s scheme as the cooperative societies will come and take the disbursement away and tell them that they are doing palliative and if you are not a member of the cooperative societies, you cannot access it.
“So many things are happening that the government does not know.
“There are so many loans put in place by this government and they should find means to ensure these things get to rural people because they are the ones that need these palliatives as they do not earn salaries,” she said.
Shoda appealed to government to reduced fuel and electricity price hikes, saying it is badly affecting women in the rural areas, as these have brought persistent increase in prices of staple foods which the rural people depend on for survival.
“COVID-19 have come and brought hardship and this fuel and electricity hikes have made others things very expensive.
“Women are the holders of micro economy; they are the ones keeping this country together.
“Some are selling akara, beans and other little things to feed their children,” she added,” she added.
Shoda said even the salaries of a lot of breadwinners are not paid and wondered how they are able to feed their families.
Edited By: Vincent Obi