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Analysts express divergent views on special banks for women


AGOS – Analysts on Tuesday expressed divergent views on the recommendation made by the National Conference for the establishment of special banks for women in Nigeria.

Some of the analysts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the recommendation was good, while others suggested that such banks should be established to attend to the needs of all low income earners in the country.

National conference delegates made the suggestion while deliberating on the report of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment o on June 11.

The delegates said that the proposed banks would provide women with access to low interest loans to finance their businesses.

The National Public Relations Officer of KOWA Party, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, described the call for the establishment of the bank as morally right.

“Women are not able to access loans easily since they usually do not have the kind of collateral required.

“Empowering women in this way will have a positive impact on the lives of their family,” she said.

Mr Toyin Raheem, the Secretary General of Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, a non-governmental group, similarly, described the idea as good.

“It is a good recommendation, although the recommendation is quite shallow.

“This is because despite their consideration for the plights of women, it must be known that poverty has no respect for gender.

“There are men whose situations are worse than that of some women.

“Therefore, delegates should rather call for the establishment of banks for all low income earners, peasants and petty traders.”

Raheem, however, argued that the essence of community banks had been defeated, noting that the community banks were charging interest above the authorised CBN rate.

In his view, Mr Mohammed Oyefeso, a former Electoral Commissioner of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, said that he was not in support of the establishment of the special banks.

“I do not agree with it as there are so many vulnerable groups that deserve it and not just the women.

“It is also suggestive of the fact that women cannot compete with men on a level-playing ground,” Oyefeso said.

The National Chairman of the Advanced Congress of Democrats, Malam Yusuf Buba, however, urged women not to discriminate among themselves.

“Why are women underrating themselves? What makes them think they are not equal to their male counterparts?

“It is not good at all, they should ask for equality not apartheid,” Buba said. (NAN)

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