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Tallen task women entrepreneurs on procurement skills

By Joy Baba-Yesufu, Abuja
14 November 2022   |   4:12 pm
The minister of women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has tasked women entrepreneurs to upgrade their skills on procurement process and also have the necessary documents to meet with the required standard needed to engage in procurement processes like their male counterparts.

The minister of women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has tasked women entrepreneurs to upgrade their skills on procurement process and also have the necessary documents to meet with the required standard needed to engage in procurement processes like their male counterparts.

She also urged all ministries, agencies, parastatals including the private sector to make procurement processes gender sensitive.

Tallen made the call at a high-level policy dialogue and exhibition in Abuja to promote the application of Gender-Responsive Procurement practices in public and private organisations.

The theme of the event is, “Strengthening the Capacity of Local MSMEs/Manufacturers to Produce High-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and Healthcare-related Products.’’

She, however, noted that women-owned businesses are mostly Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), adding that women had the potential to expand in scope, diversify supply chains, grow the economy as well as simultaneously improve the lives of women and girls in Nigeria.”

According to the minister “despite government’s efforts to support and empower women in MSMEs, access and participation in some of these procurement opportunities has remained challenging. These challenges are hinged upon the fact that procurement institutions, policies and practices are gender neutral and dominated by men.

“As such, there is huge gender disparity when it comes to access procurement information by women-owned businesses. All the procurement in ministries, departments, agencies and the private sector must be gender sensitive.

“Even when a business owned by a woman eventually makes it to the bidding process, they have limited social and financial capital to compete effectively”.

Also speaking at the occasion, National Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), Mrs Angela Ajala, said women participation in public procurement will contribute to women empowerment and gender inclusivity.

Ajala said cultural and traditional practices, discriminatory and contextual issues, less access capital and resources have put women entrepreneurs at a disadvantage in procurement processes urging women entrepreneurs to be deliberate, intentional and get the capacity training to be able to meet the needs and requirements for procurement processes.

“They should not lower standards for us because we are women. If we need to be competitive, then all the boxes must be ticked’’, she said.

In her address, the United Nations Women Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS Ms Beatrice Eyong, said 63 women entrepreneurs were trained on producing PPEs to international standard, business mentorship and branding to manage large skill production to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

Eyong further said that there are challenges of ready market for women entrepreneur’s products, urging stakeholders to include women in the procurement processes of their organizations.

“Address knowledge gaps among procurement officers on how to apply gender responsive procurement strategies and increase the participation of women entrepreneurs in the procurement space of both private and public organizations.

“We implore you to buy from women today, as it not only ensures the diversification of your supplier base and reduces supply chain risks, but you would also be contributing to the attainment of the SDGs,’’ she said.

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