Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (WEAN) has pleaded with the government to deal directly with women entrepreneurs in the disbursement of loans so it can get to the grassroots as against sending the funds to banks to disburse.
The association also called on the government to prevail on banks to soft pedal on their stringent terms and conditions for loan facilities for women.
Executive Director of the association, Dr Angela Daniel, who made the call in Lagos, during an awareness on funding opportunities for women, organised by WEAN in partnership with The Stage for Women Coalition, emphasised the need for the Federal Government to check banks’ stringent terms and conditions for loans, which should be adjusted to help women gain access to funds and loan facilities and do business.
Daniel, who is also founder and chairperson for Stage for Women Coalition, posited that the need to create awareness through the programme led to the association’s invitation of bankers from NIRSAL Microfinance Bank and Ecobank to tutor women on the facilities available and how they can access such facilities so that things will actually change as far as their businesses are concerned. She said the Stage for Women Coalition, which is an offshoot of WEAN, was out to make women develop interest in political participation, groom them and persuade women to support fellow women to contest for political positions.
Daniel decried policies that have affected women negatively to include but not limited to gender issues, violence against women, issues of state of origin and zoning, which have denied most women of opportunities, suggesting that they should be abolished.
She cited a situation where the constitution would expect a woman to get permission from her husband before she is issued an international passport or a bank can give her a loan facility to do business, saying it was derogatory.
“People should be valued based on what they are able to do and who they are, not on the basis of martial status or gender. There should be a change to these old ways of doing things.”
She advised women to effect the necessary changes needed in our polity starting from their homes, urging them to love, relate, support one another on issues and handle issues collectively.