President Muhammadu Buhari has ensured that N1.6 billion was set aside for the National Women’s Empowerment Fund - the Jarin Mata fund.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo explained yesterday on the occasion of this year's International Women's Day that the fund was to strengthen the economic capacity of Nigerian women.
Osinbajo said the present administration remained committed to protecting all women from all forms of gender-based violence, especially those living "where the security situation is difficult and living conditions are challenging."
The acting president assured that the Federal Government was determined to ensure that Nigerian women live to fulfill their aspirations in a peaceful and prosperous country.
"On International Women’s Day, I would like to, on behalf of the President, government and people of Nigeria, recognise and appreciate the very valuable work done, and role played by women in our country, over the years, since the struggle for independence," he stated.
Osinbajo, who said though Nigeria had made some progress over the years connecting women and girls with opportunities, so much more still had to be done, stressed: "We must strive to use our laws, cultural and religious institutions as well as our resources to empower women, give them opportunity, and protect their rights to a safe, healthy, stable life in our country."
He said the government acknowledged and valued the contributions women were making to national development, affirming that "They do this daily working within and outside the home as well as in public life. Indeed they sometimes are the sole providers for their families."
"This administration also established, as part of its Social Investment Programme, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides interest-free soft loans to artisans and traders. At the moment, 60% of beneficiaries under the GEEP programme are women," he added.