The Federal Government has urged Nigerian women to avoid depending on loan sharks.
Rather, it advised them to form cooperative societies where they can collectively access credits at the grassroots.
The Director General of Citizenship Leadership and Training Centre, under the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Adesoji Eniade, gave the advice yesterday in Abuja.
Eniade spoke at a three-day workshop organised by the Partnership for Advancing women in Economic Development (PAWED) anchored by the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC) and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He said: “The government is pushing for women at the grassroots to merge into cooperative societies so that their little earnings can be aggregated, so that the women will have access to ready funds amongst themselves at the local level without having to go to banks or loan sharks.
“Women should work among themselves. They would be better organised to drive the process. This kind of participation is needed more at the grassroots level where we have a greater percentage of the women in Nigeria than those living in urban areas.
Eniade, who said the Federal Government was working with the United Nations (UN) and other agencies of development to reintroduce volunteerism.
The director general urged women to mobilise their children to participate in national cohesion for growth, stability and development.
dRPC’s Country Director, Dr. Judith-Ann Walker, who was represented by her Director Projects, Dr. Stanley Ukpai, said the workshop was designed to strengthen the capacities of women in business, trade, agriculture, mining, and industries.
The country director said it was part of the objectives of the partnership for advancing women in economic development to increase the salience of women’s economic empowerment in Nigeria.