The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to roll out palliatives to assist women-owned medium and small businesses (MSME’s) recover from the impact of the pandemic.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, in Abuja during the virtual E-launch of the National Survey on the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned businesses in Nigeria, monitored by NAN.
According to Tallen, the survey captured trends and patterns of the losses caused by the pandemic on women-owned businesses, and will now guide the government’s move to revive the affected businesses.
The impact of the pandemic on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has been quite massive, and resulted in unforeseen losses for business owners, she noted.
“We are all currently experiencing the effects, which have crippled the supply chain of businesses, with dire consequences on MSMEs, where the majority of women’s owned businesses are situated,” she said.
She noted that the government had commenced the implementation of the findings of the survey, through the ongoing UN Women Assisted Palliative Distribution Project, targeted at poor women in 17 states of the federation.
In addition, the ministry of women affairs is also set to scale-up some projects for women in National Empowerment Fund (NaWEF), Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme (GEEP) and the Business Development Fund for Women (BUDFOW).
Other areas include the ECOWAS and Access Bank 50 Million Women Speak Platform Project (50MWSPP), the Trust Fund agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to implement the HP-LIFE entrepreneurship and job creation project.
Tallen said further that the ministry would also engage with the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP), and conduct a mapping of state-level interventions on COVID-19.
She also encouraged policymakers, development partners, and donor agencies to adopt the report’s recommendation for the immediate and post COVID-19 responses for women entrepreneurs.
“The Ministry is engaging with States, relevant government institutions, NGOs, business groups, PWDs cooperative societies, elderly cooperative groups, and women-focused groups to achieve this.
“I want to encourage our partners to not only stop here but let us together again look at the possibility of conducting a follow-up survey to track the progress of women entrepreneurs recovery.
The survey was conducted by NACCIMA and SME.NG, and it contained recommendations in retooling policies to address both immediate and post COVID-19 strategies as well as the way forward.