The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for a “concrete national affirmative action” for women in business to ensure economic inclusion of women and entrench justice, equity and fairness.

NOA Director General, Dr. Garba Abari who canvassed this position when he received the National Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), Barr. Nkeiru Joy Okpala on an advocacy visit in his office, said NOA would study the Nigerian Women Business Agenda of the ANWBN with a view to developing it into an advocacy policy.

Despite the impact of the current economic recession on the Nigerian business environment, Abari was optimistic that Nigeria will soon emerge a stronger economy with the economic recovery programme of government which, he said, will leverage on the potentials of small businesses.

Alluding to global trends and traditions which he said indicate that the future of the world and Nigeria in particular is feminine, he urged women in agriculture not to relent in growing what Nigerians eat while urging Nigerians to eat what we grow and avoid making the nation a dumping ground for substandard and expensive foreign foods. He noted that women constitute over 50% of the Nigerian population; hence the nation could not afford a business environment where women are sidelined.

Earlier, Barr. Okpala said the ANWBN, a coalition of 18 already existing associations, formed in 2013, is committed to business research and policy advocacy across the 36 states of Nigeria, especially as it affects women, in its attempt to resolve the challenges facing women in business.

The ANWBN National Coordinator described women as a core part of the economy which must be mainstreamed and used to grow Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. This, she said, informs the mobilization of Nigerian women by ANWBN to “walk together and walk far” in business through capacity building for businesses and professional women. She said the National Women Business Agenda is a document that identifies the policies, laws and regulations which impair the performance of women in business and hinder growth of business activities, urging relevant government agencies and policy makers to leverage the document towards creating a more efficient Nigerian business environment.

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