23 Heads of federal government agencies were replaced on April 13, 2017. The sack and replacement were to take immediate effect. Curiously, only 6 women made the list of the 23 new appointees – less than 30% of the appointments.
The women include Barr. Julie Okah-Donli as Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); Barr. Mary Ikpere-Eta, Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD); Service Compact (SERVICOM) has Nnenna A. Akajemeli as National Coordinator/CEO; Engr. Mrs. Folashade Joseph, Managing Director, Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation; Cecilia Umaru Gaya, as Director General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and Mrs. Luci Ajayi as Executive Secretary, Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board.
However, two (2) women were appointed as Executive Directors with Mrs. Kemi Nelson in the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and Hajiya Rahimatu Aliyu in the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) respectively.
Once again, these new appointments do not reflect inclusion and participation across board. Nigeria currently has only five (5) female ministers out of 36 serving federal ministers which is less than 14% – despite the fact that women constitute almost 50% of the Nigerian population.
There is currently no female governor in the 36 states of the federation with women representation at the state house of assembly and local government level abysmally low.
Nigeria needs to understand and appreciate that women bring a different angle to development issues and that men alone cannot make the change we want.
All hands should be on deck – men, women and young people. Our political class and systems must make a conscious effort to ensure that women’s ideas get to the decision-making table. Until this is done, appointments into positions will continue to be lopsided favouring the male gender and we will continue to play the development game with half of our team.