The United Nations has appealed to Nigerian government to commit specific percent of national budgets and development funds to interventions that address gender disparity in the country.
Addressing the media at the end of his visit to Nigeria, the UN Women Regional Director for East Africa, West, and Central Africa, Maxime Houinato noting that this was in congruence with the
demand earlier made by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guteress.
Houinato while explaining that in order to bridge the multisectoral gender gaps in Nigeria and improve the standard of living for women and girls something should be done, appealed that the government of Nigeria commit specific percent of national budgets and development
funds to interventions that address gender disparity in Nigeria.
Houinato said: “Gender inequality is crippling the economy,” noting that: “Women are at the heart of
human capital for economic development in any nation – health, education, agriculture, and business. Gender disparity and the suffering of women are having a detrimental impact on the
building of that human capital which is at the centre of productivity and development”.
The regional director during the press conference informed the media that while in Nigeria he has had meetings with stakeholders to whom he advocated for increased investment in gender equality and women’s empowerment and allocation of specific.
This, he said, includes advocacy
meetings with Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and National Planning, where he advocated for increased allocation of specific budget lines to address gender disparity in Nigeria.
He also revealed that this was also echoed this during his meeting with the Director General of the Public Procurement Agency in Lagos where an AfDB/UN Women-assisted gender-affirmative procurement project is being implemented to promote participation of women-owned businesses in public and private procurement.
He disclosed that the DG assured him of the government’s commitment to promoting best practices that enable women-owned businesses to access
Houinato said while meeting with the management of Nigeria Exchange Group, he requested that the corporation commit a percentage of its returns to gender-responsive interventions and
encourage its clients to do the same.
He said, while in Lagos, he had a
roundtable meeting with women CEOs in Nigeria where a 25-million-dollar GBV fund was launched.
The fund, he explained, would be a contribution from private sector organisations in Nigeria, to fund gender responsive interventions that will curb violence against women and girls and enhance women’s empowerment.
The UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Beatrice Eyong, in her remark, stated that the financial implication of GBV is enormous and reiterated that if the prevalence of violence against women and girls reduces, family income and earnings will improve and so will the economy of the society at large.