Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, yesterday faulted the N4 billion allocation to the Ministry of Women Affairs in the 2016 budget.
Senator Tinubu, who made the observation while contributing to the debate on the 2016 Appropriation Bill, asked relevant committees to ensure the vote of the ministry was reconsidered.
The Lagos Central lawmaker spoke of the need to recognise the activities lined up for the Women Affairs Ministry.
She insisted there was no way the ministry could perform and conduct its functions without adequate funds.
He reminded her colleagues that when a girl is educated, the nation would benefit.
Senator Tinubu said: “The APC, in its manifesto, mentioned that there is need for an all-encompassing empowerment programmes for women.
“Such comprehensive empowerment requires fund which should be included in the budget for implementation.
“Going through the budget for the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, I discovered that the allocation to the ministry is meagre and I think it would be the least allocation to a ministry.
“When we look at the functions of this ministry, we see that the ministry is divided into two divisions; human resources and capacity-building, economic services and women cooperatives.
“When we look at the first division, which is human resources and capacity-building, they are supposed to promote education, development of women in the civil, political, socio-cultural and economic sectors.
“Also to promote motherhood, women’s health especially maternal mortality and not only that they are to give subventions and grants to NGOs, Nigerian women trust fund, management of shelters for female victims of violence, 100 women lucky groups, welfare support for indigent women.
“When we also look at the headquarters of the ministry, which is supposed to be a national library for children, which during the Jonathan administration was consented to the ministry to become the Women Affairs Ministry, which is a laudable move and that was done in 2013.
“We discovered that you can’t really do much for the Nigerian women with the allocation. And with all I have mentioned, it requires capital for the women ministry to attend to women issues.
“We look at the Nigerian woman in particular and we are talking about fighting terrorism and the IDPs that are scattered over the Northeast and Nigeria; who is there to take care of children displaced or the family?
“The ministry is left with the burden for the woman.
“Looking at this budget of less than N4 billion and they have capital of almost N3 billion, the ministry can’t really do anything.
“So when you look at it, what is left to do any work? I am making this case on behalf of the Nigerian women that the allocation does not go down well with the Nigerian women.
“It is as if we have been used during the campaign and we said this is a government of change that the change mantra is supposed to change things across board.
“But what they have allotted to the Nigerian woman is not really encouraging.
“When we talk about change that doesn’t mean we are going to support what will not work but we are just starting and this is the best way to start and this is not going down well with us.
“On behalf of the Nigerian woman, am making their case today that this budget is not telling anything and not making any promises.
“So when we get to the committee level we should try to amend this budget so that it will meet the needs that the Nigerian women are expecting.
‘’There are some agencies which are supposed to be under the Ministry of Women Affairs.
“We are talking about refugees and trafficking persons.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, and chairman, Committee on Appropriation, these are things we want them to look into.’’
Source: The Nation Nigeria