Development expert advises in-coming govt. to leverage on women

A development expert and researcher, Dr Nkemdilim Ene, has advised the in-coming administration to leverage on women to take development faster to grassroots communities in Nigeria.

Ene gave the advice in Abuja on Sunday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the expectations of Nigerian women as the country gets set to inaugurate a new government on May 29.

On Feb. 25, Nigeria held a landmark presidential election, to keep democracy going in Africa’s most populous nation, which returned to elective governance in 1999 after years of military rule.

“Research has shown that the inclusion of women in leadership has contributed significantly to socio-economic growth.

“This shows that sustainable national development requires the contributions of women,’’ said Ene, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Preston Associates International Development Ltd., an Abuja-based think-thank.

She described womenfolk as the magic wand that could be used by the government to engender development and make Nigeria to rise above its current challenges.

“I appeal to government to be deliberate in encouraging women and girls to partake in digital opportunities available to them because this can change lives of women and that of their immediate communities.’’

The researcher said that government should also find ways to utilise the opportunities offered by technology as a tool in promoting gender equality in Nigeria.

“It can be as simple as increasing access to smart phones, cash transfers and digital financial literacy skills that can strengthen women’s decision-making abilities and enhance bargaining power in their homes,’’ Ene advised.

Commenting on the just-concluded International Women’s Day, Ene said that the lot of women in Nigeria was getting brighter, “although a lot still has to be done.

“The theme for this year’s celebration – `DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ underscores the need to equip our women with technological know-how,’’ she stated.

The youthful Ene, who holds a bachelor of medicine and surgery degree also has expansive experience in public health and gender issues.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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