WEP TO EMPOWER WOMEN FOR EXPORT BUSINESS
By Daniel Gumm
COORDINATOR of Women In Export Development Programme, WEP, of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mrs. Evelyn Obidike has said that the vision and growth strategy of the export agency is to envision the primary group as a global class of successful business women, providing entrepreneurial leadership and role models in export activities in the nation's non-oil sector and shared prosperity for all, adding that part of 'our stategic objectives is to create conditions for Nigerian women-owned companies in export business to play key roles in the country's non-oil expoprtsector.'
She explained to newsmen at the interactive session with Stakeholders on Action Plan Formulation for Accelerated Implementation of National Export Strategy (NES) for Job creation, which held in Lagos, that WEP seeks to achieve substantial increase and diversification of products in business owned and managed by women, including job generation, enhanced income and poverty reduction, noting that WEP 'is committed to creating opportunities for Nigerian export business women to increase their participation in ECOWAS sub-region and African regional markets as well as pave way for Nigeria to play leadership role in ECOWAS and African regional integration.
On the goal of WEP, Obidike said WEP 'is in tandem with the United Nations drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goal, Number 3 on gender equity and gender empowerment.
It is also the Vision 20:2020, Pillar 2. That is the platform on which the we are coming from in the NEPC. The export agency has decided to flag off this programme entiled: Women In Export Development Programme, because we found out that there are some perculiarities affecting women and that men have been dominating the landscape.
That there are some cultural values and practices that are impeding the development and harnessing the potentials of women.'
'There are some sectors where women are naturally gifted such as hair plaiting, tailoring, weaving, among others.
These are things that come naturally with women but because of factors such as gender biases, lack of capital, access to resources, the women are not able to reach their potentials.
That is the reason NEPC is flagging off the coordinated approach, to see that women are integrated into the mainstream,' she emphasised.