The poverty rate in Nigeria has become an issue that needs urgent intervention and all stakeholders must come together to fashion out a solution out of this quagmire.
In a 2019 report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled, “2019 Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria, it highlights that 40 percent of the total population, or almost 83 million people, live below the country’s poverty line of 137,430 naira ($381.75) per year.
This NBS report was based on data from the then round of the Nigerian Living Standards Survey, conducted in 2018-2019 with support from the World Bank’s Poverty Global Practice and technical assistance from the LSMS program.
When we juxtapose the fact that women make up 49% of the Nigerian population, it becomes obvious that this demographic is the worst
It is instructive to note that women are the backbone of every community and when they suffer, the family and nation feel the brunt.
It is my humble position that a lot more needs to be done for our rural women in terms of empowering them economically so as to be able to face the challenges of catering to the needs of their various homes.
It is on the strength of this that I have come up with a scheme ( EGO MBIDO AFIA- START UP FUNDS FOR RURAL WOMEN ).
WHAT IS EGO MBIDO AFIA?
It is a proposed scheme that will target 2 million rural poor women in Anambra North to assist them with start up funds for petty trading.
We shall be targeting women desirous of delving into petty trading like Akara selling, vegetables, dried fish, fresh meats, mobile food vending, Okpa, Noodles etc.
As earlier stated, the scheme aims to empower and pull the poorest amongst us (women) away from poverty by providing funds with which they can engage in petty trading.
It is my belief that women that would dedicate these funds to petty trading, would at least get to the point where they can see extra funds to take care of themselves and their families.
A scheme of this nature would naturally require certain strategic stakeholders to bring it to fruition.
Consequently, we shall be partnering with
1. THE CHURCHES.
Every denomination would be required to furnish us details of a specified number of their poorest females.
2. COMMUNITY (WOMEN LEADERS)
Each community in Anambra North, through their identified woman leader, shall also be required to furnish us details of a specified number of poor women in their midst.
This scheme shall target 2 million rural women.
The sum of N40,000,000 (Forty Million Naira) shall be made available and each beneficiary is to recieve N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only).
The pivotal role of women in building the economies of their immediate environment cannot be overstated as they are that demographic directly involved with seeing to the well-being of the family and I daresay that as long as women remain vulnerable to Poverty, there immediate economic environment and the family will always bear the brunt.
Consequently, I am of the humble view that if put to good use, this seed money would go a long way to at least get these women busy and by so doing, put some daily food on their table.
Distinguished Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah OON.