Women in Nigeria have been urged to take advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Financial Inclusion Strategy to access funds for their businesses.
Mr Yusuf Dembo, an auditor with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) made the call in a paper titled: 'Challenges and Opportunities for Women Access to Finance', at the Church's Women Fellowship conference on Monday in Kaduna.
He explained that the strategy was designed to enable women and other excluded groups to have access to finance with which to enhance their businesses.
"Indeed, the financial inclusion strategy provides for reducing the exclusion rate of women from 54 per cent to 20 per cent by the year 2020.
"To achieve this, special incentives and provisions would be made available to financial institutions to develop products that would meet the needs of Nigerian women," he said.
Dembo said that under the Micro finance Development Fund, the CBN also intended to deploy 60 per cent of the fund to women, "in order to address their peculiar financial exclusion challenges".
According to him, cultural, religious, traditional and legal discriminations are inhibiting women from full participation in national economic development.
He was of the opinion that the initiative by the CBN would increase the number of new businesses run by women, which in turn would boost economic activities, productivity and growth.