The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has said that the Federal Government is committed to providing a conducive business environment for women in businesses in the country.
A statement signed by Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa Mrs., Assistant Director Information said the Minister said this in her keynote address at the virtual launch of the Ebi Market Place, which is the 1st Indigenous E-Commerce Market place platform for Women in Nigeria.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the Minister urged the regulators in Nigeria to build capacity so that stakeholders can understand how the e-commerce sector operates.
Amb. Katagum said her Ministry was always supportive of home-grown innovations in Nigeria, especially those that are designed to support female entrepreneurs.
She also noted that the Ministry is mandated to formulate policies that would help create wealth and employment, reduce poverty and ensure enhanced service delivery in a manner that would stimulate the growth of the domestic economy through industrialization, trade and investment.
“Hence, the Ministry prioritizes the harnessing of available resources (human, financial and technical), to help strengthen the capacity of women, who form the backbone of any economy, to unleash their economic potentials, through the development of relevant policies and impactful programmes and activities.
In addition, the Ministry and some of its parastatals, such as Bank of Industry (BOI), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), have established functional Gender Desks, dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs with training, credit facilities, capacity building most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide relevant support for women owned businesses to stay afloat”, the Minister stated.
The Minister expressed joy to be part of the laudable event especially that the Ebi Marketplace was designed to provide a tangible response to the impact of COVID-19 on female entrepreneurs,noting that, “Women were the vulnerable group, amongst others who were unable to migrate their businesses unto online platforms and for that reason many shut down”.
Amb. Katagum disclosed that the Ministry through the Bank of Industry, is an institutional partner with the Ebi Marketplace, thereby giving the Ministry central role in supporting women in economic development.
She therefore stated that there is need for synergy, cooperation and collaboration amongst stakeholders in the E-Commerce ecosystem, including digitally operated businesses, in order to achieve enhanced participation of more female entrepreneurs, particularly Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in both domestic and cross border E-Commerce.