The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has called for more participation of women in the operational activities of the ministry.
She made this known when the Arewa Women Business Forum paid her a courtesy visit at the ministry in Abuja to present her with an award as the Grand Patron of the Forum.
Mrs Katugum while commending the forum for coming together as women for a cause, said that she had been calling on women to come together and participate as a structure in what the ministry is doing, than working individually.
“I have taken note of some of the key issues you raised”, she began. This is a gender friendly ministry, because, it is gender sensitivity and has a gender desk for a very long time.
“Though, we are yet to create a greater synergy because, some others departments have their gender desks, but, in order to make it more effective, we have put the gender desk under the office of Permanent Secretary so that they can see what is happening in every department and agency and bring it to the attention of women.
“At the beginning, we encouraged women to form associations and mobilize other women. We did not create portal for anyone in order to ensure transparency. We asked everybody to go online and register. Some women organizations gathered themselves, got laptops and data in order to register women especially, in rural areas.
“Despite our efforts to mobilize women, we don’t have 45 per cent in some states. Some have 43 per cent while others are more marginal. As far as survival fund is concerned, we have gone to about 70 per cent, the last track which is a guarantee off take, will be concluded soon because, we have registered about 80,000 companies that are qualified. We are only waiting for more directives from the presidency.
The Minister also said that the Ministry is planning some other programs that can assist lots of women and advised the forum to have an online presence.
“You need somebody that is conversant with what’s going on and the type of programs that can be of assistance to the women. I urge you to watch out for credible information and immediately you come across one, please, do not hesitate to visit and seek our advice on how best you can benefit from the scheme”.
While presenting the award to the Minister, the President of the forum, Tina Bawa also emphasized on the forum’s proposed summit which will be in partnership with the ministry.
To this end, the Minister expressed that the forum should write to the ministry and if it hadn’t done that, it should liaise with the gender desk and discuss what concept and what it intends to achieve, added with what the outcome would be.
“When you have put together a concept note, you can write officially to the ministry on the summit. I promise to be your special guest as you requested, hence no conflict in date”, she concluded.
The entourage of the forum include; Jamila Makka, the Secretary, Aisha Shateema Rabo, and the Treasurer, Victoria Kitchener and others.