President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said placing women in strategic positions of his government, like the financial sector, is to ensure effective management of limited resources available, and promote a stronger sense of inclusiveness.
Mr Buhari said he preferred women to oversee the economic and financial hub of the country, Ministry of Finance, as they can readily deploy their experience in aligning resources with the needs of the country, explaining that the nation also had many female technocrats with local and international experiences on economy and finance.
The president gave the insight into his preferred choice for Ministers of Finance while receiving a delegation of National, Zonal, State and FCT women leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the party’s women leader, Mrs Salamatu Baiwa, at the State House.
“I am happy that I can defend myself very effectively on this issue. APC party leader is my witness. Since the coming into power of this administration, I have handed over the treasury to women.
“Even at household level, you hand over the money to women to manage. It can be taken to the level of managing the country’s treasury as well. I have consistently given it to women. It is strategic.
“I am conscious of the leadership roles of women in the society and by my action, I have justified my belief,” Buhari said.
The president reiterated that his administration will ensure inclusiveness for women and youth, especially in the second term, by providing more access to facilities that will enable spread of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and encourage more interest in agriculture.
Buhari said the traditional and subsistence style of farming should be replaced with commercialized and business-oriented techniques.
“We have to move away from the traditional ways of farming that were practised in the pre-colonial and colonial era,’’ he added.
The president said he instructed ministers to work with traditional institutions to encourage interest in farming, with Central Bank of Nigeria readily providing loans at low-interest rates and longer periods of repayment.
“On unemployment, I know there is no able-bodied person that went back to the farm in the last three years that regretted the action,’’ he added.
In her remarks, APC woman leader congratulated the president for his victory at the polls and the tribunal, commending the administration for its efforts in managing the affairs of the country, which provided the impetus for the vigorous campaigns.
Baiwa said women were particularly pleased and willing to vote for the president because the government deliberately formulated some policies to favour and empower women, like the social intervention Trader Moni.
She said APC had many resourceful and loyal women that would contribute to the success of the administration, while commending the president for giving women strategic positions in the government.
“Our prayer is that God will give you the tenacity to overcome all obstacles,’’ the Woman Leader said.