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‘Women should showcase their innate potential’

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Abitoye

Mrs. Olubukola Abitoye is the Chief Executive Office of Digital Space Capital. She has over a decade of professional experience in Investment Banking, Assets Management, Insurance brokerage, etc. She has a proven track record as a key player in driving strategy and financial transformation in key banking institutions. She was the General Manager of Sky Capital & Financial Allied Intl. Ltd and former Director of Skye Bank, Sierra Leone. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Charisma University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She spoke with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA on how women should harness their innate potential, Nigeria’s economy, and women in business among others.

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What inspired you to set up your business and how can you inspire other women?
THE workaholic nature of some women has been my motivation. They wake up as early as 5.00 a.m. to do all sorts of odd jobs. Women need a little support to eke out a living for themselves and children. Women should get financial support and the government should pay more attention to women’s welfare. Many women are prudent. An average woman can manage both her home and business effectively. It is important for the system to develop a platform that can enable women to get loans at reduced rates. Government should identify women that need support and educate them on financial discipline. From there, they can access loans at single-digit to ensure maximal optimisation of the funds. Women should stand on their toes and prepare children for the future. It is crucial that women showcase their innate capabilities and potential. It is important for women to rise to the challenge that they can do it better. They must demonstrate the ‘can do’ spirit and exhibit their competencies. Women should know that there is no gender inequality in achieving success. They should brace up and occupy their place.

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What is your take on Nigeria’s economy with respect to the Coronavirus pandemic?
The pandemic opened our eyes to new ways of doing business. Government should put modalities in place to ensure growth in the economy. COVID-19 has exposed the current state of things in the country and how important it is to respond proactively to challenges. The government should be more committed to the health sector. Government’s intervention is key to an improved economy. We don’t need to wait for issues to arise before the government steps in. With the current state of the economy, people should be supported one way or the other to cushion the economic COVID-19 effects. Such interventions should include giving funds at subsidised rates, disbursing loans to support SMEs, etc. The support should reach people. Finance companies should also provide intermediation by supporting people.

What do you think can drive economic growth?
The government should put a structure in place that will be effective in ensuring the workability of strategies and plans. What we have at present is a bad signal to economic development. The government needs to deregulate and involve the private sector more in economic development. Another issue is that the demand and supply of FOREX should be operational. Exchange rate is alarming and the government seems not to have control. We should encourage exports, as we have several products. Foreigners always take our products overseas and repackage them for us and we purchase such at exorbitant rates. We really need to export what we produce to stabilise the economy.

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