30th April, 2012
Hajia Amina Namadi Sambo, wife of the Vice President has called for urgent financial support and business skills for women to improve their status.
Mrs. Sambo stated this at the opening of the 33rd Kaduna International Trade Fare, taking place at the International Trade and Investment Centre, Kaduna.
She said women constitute more than 51 percent of Nigeria’s population with about 70 percent of them involved in small and medium enterprises.
In spite of this, the wife of the vice president noted that majority of the women live in abject poverty.
“65 percent of the 100 million Nigerians living below poverty line are women,” she said.
She urged the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture to set aside a special day for women entrepreneurs, to enable them the opportunity to showcase their goods and services at the fair.
“This would uplift the economic status of our teeming and energetic women,” she said.
Mrs. Sambo further urged local and foreign investors to invest in the largely untapped opportunities in in the non-oil sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism and power.
In his speech, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Governor Patrick Yakowa, said the theme for the fair, “Reawakening Nigerian Enterprises towards Global Competitiveness,” was in line with the Transformation Agenda of the government and Vision 20:20:20.
“Nigeria is more than oil and gas,” he said and urged Nigerians to focus on agriculture and the development of the solid mineral sector to meet global competitiveness.
Yakowa used the opportunity to speak on the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to reposition the state’s economy.
He said the government would privatise the Zaria Pharmaceutical Company, Kafanchan Flower Mills and the Ikara Tomatoe Company to create opportunities for farmers and women in the state.
On security, the governor regretted the earlier postponement of the fair in February due to security concerns, saying that it was done in the overall interest of the people.
He commended residents of Kontagora road, the scene of Thursday’s Bomb explosion, for assisting security agents in arresting the suspect.
Yakowa assured that the government was on top of the security situation in the state and urged the public to further cooperate with security agencies to make the state safer to live in.