Female entrepreneurs operating their businesses across Nigeria are about 23 million currently.
The executive director, development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Dr Judith-Ann Walker, stated this at a three-day capacity-building workshop on women’s economic empowerment.
Shedding light on the figure, Walker said: “Although Nigerian women account for 41 per cent ownership of micro-businesses in Nigeria with over 23 million female entrepreneurs, making Nigeria among the highest entrepreneurs globally, there is insufficient real economic empowerment and inclusion for women across the real sector of the economy.”
She added that there is increasing global awareness that empowering women yields a high return on investment, as women are now integral part of the nation’s work force and are present at all upstream economic chains either formally or informally.
Dr Walker noted that between 1999 and 2020, the Nigerian government developed several national development plans, and these include; the national economic directions, the national economic and development strategy, vision 202020, 7-point agenda, transformation agenda, economic recovery growth Plan, and the economic sustainability plan, saying, all these have not addressed women’s economic empowerment needs.
On her part, chairman, export group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Bosun Solarin, charged the government at all levels on closure of gender gap for women’s access to property, finance and decent work which are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She emphasised the need for the government to explore available initiatives and deploy needed resources towards the cause of women and children in Nigeria.
According to her, women should be offered equal opportunities with their male counterparts in top government positions and boards of public and private sector institutions, adding that, the inhibiting components in land use laws need to be repealed and re-enacted with a view to allow for more women access to land and property for business ventures.