Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has said that empowering Nigerian women politically and economically is the key to achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja, by Director Press at the ministry, Saghir El Mohammed, said Maina stated this at the North-West zone Parallel Session of the on-going Presidential Summit on the MDGs and the Post Development Agenda, organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs.
According to her, prior to the advent of the present administration, women were not benefiting much from the Nigeria’s financial institutions because the Banking Policy was not favorable to them.
She said women constitute 60-80 per cent of the urban workforce in trading and 65-70 per cent in the rural areas engaged in small scale businesses and under-capitalized activities to participate fully in the economic life of the nation.
According to the Minister, this was the reason why the federal government saw the need to extend credit facilities to these productive activities so that women can participate fully in the economic life of the nation.
Presentations made by the State Commissioners of Women Affairs from the North West Zone commended the MDGs for bringing development closer to the people, even as they solicited for gender-specific allocation to enable them do more for the rural women whom they said were yet to fully benefit from the efforts.