NDDC to Facilitate Financing for Women Empowerment

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The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it will partner with financial institutions to assist women to access finance to enhance their livelihood.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Union Bank Nigeria at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, pledged to partner on Women Empowerment in the Niger Delta Region.

He said: “We are looking at providing single digit loans to support the women. That is why we are supporting the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce to build entrepreneurs. The Chamber of Commerce will help us to share the risks and build a database which will guide the NDDC in setting up empowerment schemes. We are also setting up structures to monitor the performance of the entrepreneurs.”

Ogbuku stated that the registration of the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce being championed by the NDDC was meant to extend the reach of the Commission’s programme of empowering the people of the Niger Delta region through entrepreneurial schemes.

To be able to support entrepreneurial growth and fast track development, the NDDC boss said that the Commission decided to adopt the Public Private Partnership, PPP, model to provide alternative sources of funding for its key development projects and programmes.

Ogbuku noted: “The Niger Delta is the bedrock of the Nigerian economy and we need peace for development to thrive in the region. We need to get people engaged to ensure peace. Women in the region are very industrious but we need to strengthen them.”

The Regional Business Executive, South, for Union Bank Nigeria, Mr. Chidi Ileka, stressed the need to support women with training to enable them succeed in businesses. He said the bank was eager to partner with the NDDC to further empower women in the Niger Delta region and collaborate to address gender inequality and provide women in the region with enhanced opportunities for success.

Ileka said that the partnership would help women to access finance, development programmes, and affordable healthcare, noting that the initiative, founded on principles of gender equality and the desire to champion female empowerment, would equip women in the Niger Delta with the necessary tools and resources to achieve financial independence.

He explained: “We recognise the pivotal role that access to finance plays in entrepreneurial success and economic growth. By working with the NDDC, we hope to provide women with improved financial resources that will empower them to start or expand their businesses and achieve financial stability.

Making a presentation, the Head, Alpher and Women Lead Business in Union Bank, Mrs. Chioma Nwokike, said that the bank would like to strengthen women’s long-term financial security through savings and investment opportunities by facilitating women’s ability to save and invest.

She explained that the joint initiative would encompass comprehensive business and personal development programmes, stating: “Through training, capacity building programmes and leadership development, women in the Niger Delta will acquire the skills and knowledge needed for entrepreneurship and personal growth.”

Nwokike said that the partnership would prioritise the importance of affordable healthcare for women in the Niger Delta, assuring that efforts would be made to improve healthcare access for women to ensure their well-being and enable them to focus on their personal and professional growth.