Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Maureen Okpe

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing, has disclosed that the  United Kingdom (UK) government has launched a $100 million grant program through the First Bank of Nigeria as direct funding to women-owned  enterprises in Nigeria.

Laing who made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Gender and Inclusion Summit organised by the Policy Innovation Center, (PIC), an initiative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance in Abuja said, another 98million dollars also  targeted at helping female enterprenuers affected by climate change.

According to her the investment is part of the implementation of the UK’ three Es projects, centered on Educating girls, Empowering women and Ending violence against women and girls.

She said, “we recently launched a hundred million dollar credit grant programme through the first bank of Nigeria which will direct funding specifically to women owned enterprises. 

“On market development employment we just launched 98million dollars which is targeted at helping female enterprenuers affected by climate change.

“The UK has worked on education for decades now particularly in the north-east Nigeria where we have supported 1.4 million additional girls going to school.

Also, United States Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard, called on Nigerian government and International partners to make concerted efforts towards closing the gaps on gender parity.

Leonard stated that the US government prioritise gender activity leading it to invests over $200 billion annually towards programming gender activity and equality globally.

” In Nigeria, the US mission works to promote an environment that supports women’s success and address challenges that hold women back and to empower Nigerian women to do the same. 

“The upcoming 2023 elections presents a critical opportunity to include more women in leadership positions in government.

” And we encourage women not only to vote on election day but also to consider running for office at all levels of government in the future elections.

This campaign season presents an opportunity to demand candidates prioritise policies and legislations for women and girls,” she said.

On her part, Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, Deputy Director, PIC, explained that the organisation works in several policy areas such as financial and digital Inclusion, health, human capital, gender and social policy, accountability and transparency. 

Dirisu added that within the last one year, PIC initiated projects on harnessing behavioural insight, sustainable and inclusive digital transformation, assessment of the context and behavioral drivers of learning poverty and  outcomes for “at risk (in and out of school children.”

” We are here at the summit and hope to institutionalise and have an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to have real conversation about gender and advanced cause to improving gender equality in Nigeria,” She said.

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