Restricting Women to Household Management Hurts Economy—Alli

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A respected finance expert, Mr Andrew Alli, has said if Nigeria intends to boost its gross domestic product (GDP), women must be allowed to reach their full economic and social potential.

Mr Alli said this at a seminar organised by the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) in commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD).

He pointed out that women comprise half of the population of countries and restricting this huge manpower to just household management will hurt the economy.

“Educating women is one of the most important development efforts to growing a country. If women are not able to reach their full economic and social potential that is going to have a huge impact on GDP.

“One way of increasing GDP is increasing the number of people in your population who are maximally productive.

“Looking at Nigeria, having women restricted is having a huge impact on our economy. A quick way of boosting our economy is enabling women to reach their full potential,” he explained.

Another panellist at the event, Ms Nkem Okocha, the founder of MamaMoni, a micro-credit scheme designed to bridge the financing gap for rural women, stated that the impact of MamaMoni has shown that given financial literacy and inclusion, women will contribute meaningfully to the economic development of Nigeria.

“We have funded about 1,500 businesses, and impacted over 7,000 women across Nigeria. These women have grown and can generate revenue to train their children in school.

“Some of them have had up to an 80 per cent increase in household income. The key is that before giving them the money, we build a relationship with them. We train them on basic bookkeeping and financial discipline measures,” she said.

The Head of Brand and Marketing of Sub Saharan Africa Google, Ms Mojolaoluwa Makinde, while referring to what her organisation, Google, is doing for women inclusion and gender equality, explained that the platform provides entrepreneurship, leadership, and literacy support through the WomenWill initiative.

She also announced the launch of the Google Impact Challenge, noting that this is a $25 million fund for women, girls, and organizations that support women’s prosperity across the world.

On his part, the Managing Director/CEO of DBN, Mr Tony Okpanachi, said he was aware of “the strategic role women play as reliable builders of Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), a segment we are mandated to reduce financial constraints for.”

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