By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (Women Wing) has called on the Federal Government to address challenges hindering the inclusion of women in public procurement processes.
This, it said, would enable Nigerian women entrepreneurs to contribute at least N500bn to the nation’s economy annually.
The group regretted that despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 003; instructing all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government to grant preference to local manufacturers in their procurement of goods and services, only one per cent goes to women-owned businesses.
The Chairperson of the NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG), Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, made this call at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the ex-Minister, “The case for gender equality is founded in both human rights and economic arguments. As such, closing gender gaps must be a central part of any strategy to create more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies.
“We, therefore, advocate specifically for improved market demand for products and services of women-owned businesses by leveraging on the Presidential Executive Order 3 published in 2017, titled, Executive Order On Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government.”
Speaking also, the President, Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Barr. Vera Ndanusa, stated that Presidential Orders 003 and 005 provide an opportunity for women businesses to thrive.
However, she advocated inclusiveness, transparency, competitiveness and professionalism in Nigeria’s public procurement as a way of surmounting the challenges hindering the participation of women businesses.
Mrs. Ndanusa said, “In Nigeria, women businesses account for only 1% of all procurements at the federal and state levels. This is due to a lack of access to information about the opportunities, legal and regulatory challenges, and other barriers preventing women from having access to this critical sector of national growth.
“While globally, procurement is estimated to be $5.5BN, Nigeria spends $1.1bn on procurement. This is equivalent to N473bn. Only N4.73bn goes to women businesses.
“Let us, therefore, work together to ensure that the commitment by Nigeria’s stakeholders to ensure 30% of all procurement is given to women businesses by 2026 becomes a reality.”