We, the representatives of leading Women’s Economic Collectives (WECs) in the PAWED project are writing this Press Statement to call for Renewed investment in women’s economic empowerment in the 2024 budget to achieve the government’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
We, the women representatives came together to spend one full day reviewing the 2024 proposed budget estimates for women’s economic empowerment. While were happy to note the allocation of ₦12.59 billion naira for women’s economic empowerment projects in the 2024 estimates, we observe that this allocation represents a 82% reduction from the 2023 allocation of ₦72billion. We are even more concerned to note see only 99 WEE projects in the 2024 budget compared to 164 projects in the 2022 budget.
We extended our review of the 2024 budget to include economic empowerment lines in the budget targeting combined beneficiary groups of women, youth and others. We saw that the 2024 budget captured 107 WEE projects for women, youth and others. This did not compare well to the 2023 budget which had 442 WEE projects for women, youth and others. To fund the 107 projects, the 2024 budget allocated only ₦12.57 billion while in 2023, ₦36.5 billion was budgeted for projects which also targeted women, youth and others.
Even when the ₦12.57 billion allocation to the WEE lines targeting women, youth and others, is added to the ₦12.59 allocation for women-only WEE projects, the 2024 allocation for WEE still emerges as the lowest since 2019. Less that one per cent of the 2024 budgetary capital allocation is dedicated for women’s economic empowerment. In 2023 almost 2% of the annual capital budget was allocated for WEE.
While we appreciate the Federal Government’s commitment to the economic empowerment of Nigeria’s women as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda and while we recognize the nation’s tight fiscal space, we believe that reduced funding for WEE will impact negatively on the achievement of government’s WEE targets. We therefore appeal to Federal government for an upward, more gender disaggregated and beneficiary-specific review the 2024 budget allocation for WEE so that the laudable commitments of the Renewed Hope Agenda can be achieved. Together, we can work towards a more inclusive and economically empowered Nigeria.
God Bless Nigeria!
National Council FOR Women Societies (NCWS) Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA) National Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE) NECA National Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW)
The WECs of the Partnerships for Advancing Women in Economic Development (PAWED), WEE policy advocacy project, first came together in 2021 to work for WEE through the kind support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s grant to the development Research and Project Center (dRPC).