NGO urges govt to organise digital training for market women
A non-governmental organisation, Women Liberation and Transformation Group (W-LIT) has urged the state government to organise more digital training programmes to enlighten women and boost their businesses.
The Executive Director of W-LIT, Mrs Olanike Mic-Taiwo, made the call), on Wednesday at a meeting of market women at Ayobo/Ipaja, Lagos, to celebrate the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD).
The 2023 IWD has the theme: “Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting which was subgranted by Women’s Right And Health Project (WRAPH) was funded by Action Aids and Global Affairs Canada.
She said that learning digital skills would not only boost their businesses online but also help them manage crisis such as the cash crunch issues faced in Nigeria currently.
Mic-Taiwo said that the cashless policy currently going on in the country was a call for business women to embrace technology.
“I applaud the cashless policy happening in Nigeria due to cash crunch; it is not a misfortune but rather an opportunity for business women to upgrade themselves and their businesses technologically.
“If we have been practising the cashless policy before now and everyone in the chain of business transactions is technologically upgraded, we will not be complaining about reduction in sales and transportation while other hardships won’t arise.
“Also, if the cashless policy has long been embraced, banks would have tackled inconsistent network issues and online bank transactions would have been seamless, “she said.
She added that banks should issue POS machines to market women and allow them pay in instalments in order for them to thrive well with the cashless policy.
Mic- Taiwo urged the market women to also get bank token as a further way of protecting their business accounts, adding that they should separate their personal accounts from the business one.
Speaking on using online spaces, she said the women should explore social media to enhance their businesses, adding that they could use it to further advertise their products to the masses.
The executive director also explained that social media platforms could be used to reduce gender-based violence through voice note recordings, video and picture sharing among others to report cases faster and discretely.
In a separate interview with NAN, Mrs Felicia Isijola, one of the participants who sell fabrics, said that it was indeed necessary to leverage on technology to upgrade their businesses.
Speaking on the scarcity of Naira, she said that many of them were caught unawares because the cashless policy was not a usual practise and had caused reduction in sales.
She however, said that it had encouraged a lot of them to open bank accounts to transact and sell goods through online banking.
Isijola said that another challenge experienced with the cashless policy was that the transport system does not take bank transfers hence makes the delivery of goods difficult.
She urged the Government to address the transport management systems in Nigeria to collect payments for their services using the online bank transfers.
Mrs Adejoke Salisu, another participant said that the cashless policy had helped reduce debt rate in the market as people hardly buy on credit since they use the online bank transfers to pay for their goods.
She however, said that the greatest fear of most traders for not approving online banking was because of the issue of fake alerts and lack of digital literacy.
Salisu urged the Lagos State Government to look into the desires of rural women so that they could leverage on digital technology for the advancement of their businesses and improve their livelihood.NAN