By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
THE Nigeria Association of Women Entrepreneurs, NAWE, has called on government at all levels and international agencies to encourage more women in sustainable agriculture.
This was as the group charged the federal government to prepare a bill to send to the National Assembly that allows women to own land officially from family inheritance.
Barrister Vera Ndanusa, said this, Tuesday, in her inaugural speech as the 6th president of the association in Abuja.
Ndanusa also called on “financial institutions and credit groups to be women friendly in their lending to the sector, considering the role women play in food security.”
“When it comes to farming, women in Nigeria are mostly subsistence farmers; they live from hand to mouth. Now that we have made a decision on agriculture, the first thing is to be able to assess funds that will empower small-scale farmers.
“In the east, the majority of the people in agriculture are women. Now, soft loans are essential for them. The Government and international agencies are called to tailor their programs to encourage the empowerment of more women in sustainable agriculture,”she said.
She added:”The government should see the need to send bill to the National Assembly allowing women to own land officially from family inheritance.
“Women are not granted land officially in the sense that women do not usually inherit land culturally, except in an enlightened environment.”
She said her leadership,in the next four years “will continue to build on our strengths, but also take on new directions.”
“We will continue our programs that strengthen our professionalism – through education, training and resources. We will also retain our commitment to solidarity, ensuring that our members that are less resourced can have more opportunities and assistance to develop the skills, the methods and operating frameworks required of a modern entrepreneurial world in a connected economy,”she further said.
According to her,”I have a dream, a vision and a mission in these four years to reposition NAWE. We are on a mission to set up NAWE houses in all the 36 states and Abuja. “
“The mission is to create a unique and highly flexible combination of business development processes, infrastructure and people designed to nurture new small and medium businesses by helping them survive and grow through the difficult and vulnerable early stages of business development,”she explained.
Ndanusa said, “The NAWE house will strive to help new and existing companies by providing management training, skills acquisition and shared office space for women entrepreneurs who cannot afford lone offices, business mentoring, networking and exhibition centers.”
Noting that,”Our future is bright”, Ndanusa said:” We are calling for partnership with the government, international organisations and individuals of goodwill to bring this vision into existence. “
While acknowledging the achievements of the past presidents of the association “who we benefitted so much from their terms as presidents”,she noted that:”Their leadership of the association was steady, assured and pragmatic but most of all had clear visions for the changes that NAWE needed and experienced.”
“Their legacies at different times are there to be seen and they where testaments to the fact that NAWE today, is a better association with stronger governance and a vision and strategy suited to the times that we are in,”she added.