·         PIC calls for gender inclusion

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, says there is still much to be done for Nigeria to achieve regional and global competitiveness.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja recently on NESG’s ‘Gender and Inclusion Summit’ billed to take place on November 16, Jaiyeola said Nigeria lagged peers in critical Sustainable Development Goals’ priorities with a performance score of 46.4, noting that gender equality was a key accelerator for achieving the goals.

He said the essence of the summit was to explore transformative ways of achieving gender and inclusion, while accelerating the actualisation of the SDGs.

Quoting the World Economic Forum 2021, Jaiyeola said Africa’s most populous nation ranked 139 out of 149 countries on the global gender index, which pointed to the need for joint efforts towards reducing gender-inequality-related losses.

“Women are disproportionately affected by unequal treatment on the basis of gender. Men are, however, not left. A recent analysis by the United Nations reported that by 2030, for every 100 men living in poverty, there will be 121 women if deliberate steps are not taken to counter the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“The World Bank reports that about 14.9% of Nigerians live with disability, lack of access to essential services, with attitudinal barriers representing a significant impediment to their socioeconomic inclusion.” He commended the Nigerian government for making realistic efforts towards achieving inclusion, citing the National Gender Policy and the National Gender Action Plan as evidence of the government’s interest in achieving equality.