Mr Abubakar Bello, Managing Director, Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM), and other stakeholders have stressed the need for gender equity and women’s empowerment to improve access to health, education, economic and political opportunities in the country.
They made the call during a family fun weekend, organised by NEXIM Bank, in commemoration of the 2023 international Women’s Day (IWD) celebration in Abuja.
He said women play significant role in every area of human development, hence the need to ensure they had access to opportunities that would further harness their potentials for the development of any nation.
According to him, the bank prioritises anything concerning women, adding that women should be celebrated all the time for their immense contribution to the society.
“We should not just celebrate women only on women’s day or month.
“Women should be celebrated everyday. This year’s theme, which talks about embracing equity, should not be celebrated only on women’s day, but all the time as we are talking about moving forward to the future.
“Every women’s day, we make promises on equal opportunities, equity, amongst others.
“I want a feedback from the women from all the promises made in the past, where are we? Are you satisfied with what we have done?” he said.
The NEXIM Bank boss further added that the bank prioritises the well being and health of its workforce to ensure maximum productivity.
“We take the competence of women seriously, especially when bringing in new staff. It’s not a favour that we are doing to the women, it is a favour that we are doing to the agency.
“We are happy about the issues discussed by the speakers. One spoke about being focused, another on health and wellbeing.
“Another one spoke about motivation and how to remove obstacles and barriers affecting women’s development,” he said.
He, therefore, stressed the need to accommodate more women so that they can give in their best in any workforce and the society in general.
Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, stressed the need for programmes that would bridge the gap for women to become independent and contribute to national development.
On the issue of challenges affecting women in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, Sulaiman-Ibrahim decried its effects on them, calling for more collaboration to address them.
“Women are the most hit, they lose their privacy when such things happen and it is hard for them.
“They carry a lot of burden because they become the caregivers, heads of households and other challenges for women when displacement and emergency happen.
“We must work collectively to address these challenges facing women,” she said.
Mrs Maryam Lemu, a motivational speaker, encouraged women to key into the digital world and give in their best to the development of their homes, community and nation at large.
“Digital world should be embraced by everyone and stop focusing on the negative.
“Let key people who have access make it possible for more women to have access because once a woman has access to knowledge and she learns, she can empower her family, the society and hopefully generation will be better than what she didn’t get.
“Don’t listen to negativity, sometimes it comes from us, we keep making excuses why we cannot do something
“But it is just background noise, so reduce the volume on that and focus on what you can do. The possibilities are limitlessness,” she said.
Also, Dr Amina Dorayi, Country Director, Pathfinder, encouraged women to prioritise their health, mental well being and eat healthy food and fruits.
“This is one of the best thing you can do for your staff – work that prioritises your wellbeing. You are the most important person in your life and those around you, so do not joke with your health. Health is life, health is everything,” she said.
Other highlights of the day were various sporting activities for staff of NEXIM Bank, their family members and other stakeholders.