Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, has called for data generation on girls and women in Nigeria to help improve their empowerment and foster national development.
According to Alhassan, relying on data based on mere speculations to draw out plans and strategies needed to address the numerous challenges confronting women and female children in Nigeria had been ‘defective’ because “government cannot empower them in the absence of statistical data.”
The minister made the call on Thursday in Abuja during the 3rd edition of the Women and Girls Summit with the theme: Putting the girl child at the heart of national development.
The event was to commemorate this year’s edition of the International Day of the Girl Child.
She said, “I have observed that without data, we cannot accurately talk of milestones as we would lack the evidence to drive effective policy. Without data, our planning process would be defective, our policy goals would be compromised and our implementation level would be difficult to measure as we will lack the benchmarks to guide effective work.
“Therefore, at both the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and National Centre for Women Development, we shall continue to maintain a steady focus on the need for increased data generation and management to enhance planning for the girl child and women in Nigeria.”
Earlier, the Acting Director-General, NCWD, Mallam Sadeeq Omar, said that the centre recognised that women’s economic empowerment remained the first step to freedom.
He stressed that no fewer than 40 girls had been trained as artisans in masonry, tiling, air conditioning and generating set repairs, plumbing and piping.