The Co-Founder and CEO of Afrigrants, Ms Thelma Ekiyor, has called on the private sector in Nigeria to help Nigerian women in the procurement of funds to boost their businesses.
Ekiyor said this at a forum organised by the United Nations (UN) Women, Procter and Gamble (P and G) and Afrigrants, in Lagos, tagged ‘Affirmative Procurement in Nigeria’.
She said affirmative procurement was the only way out as it helps make procurement processes more inclusive for not just women, but youths and persons with disability including rival women.
“This particular meeting focuses on women because across Nigeria, procurement processes are systemically discriminatory against women.
At the forum, global and regional experts highlighted how companies, governments, international organisations and civil society can work together to increase the participation of women-owned enterprises in value chains and create decent jobs for women.
Ekiyor said there was discrimination against women in businesses, insisting that it has to change because it has affected women over the years.
“We have to focus on eliminating poverty in women in Nigeria as many women don’t bid for big contracts. There are some sectors that women don’t operate at all not to talk of operating in small numbers. And that has to change because this affects women’s long term economic empowerment and I think if we are to bring women out of poverty in Nigeria, this is an area we have to focus on”. She stated.
She however called on the private sector to boost women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, while at the same time advocating for capacity building, funding and effective communication.