By Joshua Olomu
Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, says the federal government is willing and committed to supporting women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
The minister made this known on Thursday when a delegation from the Federation of Women’s Associations in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FEDWIM) led by its national coordinator, Mr. Anne Ugbo, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja. .
The Minister said that Nigerian women entrepreneurs, through their ingenuity, have always contributed their quota to the national economy and therefore should be encouraged for an increased contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).
She reaffirms that Nigerian women formed a very important part of the federal government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Katagum reiterated that women-owned businesses were allocated 45% and 5% for people with special needs under the federal government’s MSME Survival Fund program to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. on their businesses.
“The federal government clearly understands the place of women in the economic development of our nation and that is why this department is doing everything possible to support them.
“Among other initiatives, the federal government has also flagged the N50 billion Export Expansion Facility (EEFP) program on non-oil export companies, thereby preserving jobs and creating new jobs.
“I use this medium to encourage more women to apply and we also urge associations to mobilize and educate their members,” she said.
Katagum, however, advised the FEDWIN delegation to write formally to the ministry, indicating possible areas of collaboration.
Previously, Ugbo said the association was in the ministry to brief the minister on its programs and seek support from its members in all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
However, she commended the Minister of State for her maternal commitment to the well-being of Nigerian women through her contributions to the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“FEDWIM is established to serve as a platform for creating synergy among all groups focused on women’s economic empowerment to provide a single mechanism for coordinated engagement with government and other stakeholders.
“This would result in effective supervision and monitoring of participation in program implementation and feedback for policy formulation and appropriate decision-making on issues of women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion.” .
“This would accelerate the development and competitiveness of the MSME sector, especially for women facing difficulties in accessing affordable finance, appropriate technology and other challenges,” she said.
Ugbo said the association is currently mobilizing 50,000 women in all sectors and levels of operations to participate in the ongoing process of accessing the loan of the Agribusiness, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program (AGSMEIS )NOPE)
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