The Chief Executive Officer of Eleganza Group, Folashade Okoya, has spoken on the role of women in Nigeria’s manufacturing industry.
Okoya, who has helmed the company over the past decade with her husband, Chief Razak Okoya published an op-ed titled ‘Nigeria’s Manufacturing Power Couple on the Future of Manufacturing in Nigeria’ in Forbes Africa magazine.
The article examines the need for greater automation in the manufacturing processes as well as the trends that will influence the competitive Nigerian manufacturing sector in the next decade.
Okoya, who was also interviewed in the magazine, opined that women are very strong by nature though they appear fragile and can adapt to any situation irrespective of the challenges.
On the role of females in the manufacturing industry, she said; “Firstly, I think we need a program that promotes the role of women in manufacturing and this really should be initiated by the Nigerian government. The reform needs to start from the micro level and we need initiatives that will serve to mentor and recognize women while also leading research efforts tackling this important topic. Ultimately, to attract top female talent in manufacturing, there needs to be a way of showing the amazing opportunities the manufacturing industry has to offer.”
She added that to make manufacturing attractive to women, it is important to set up more technical and tertiary institutions for them and celebrate more women in manufacturing regularly to bring awareness to more millennial women.
Presently, Mrs. Okoya is using her entrepreneurial drive to strengthen the goodwill of the organization and its corporate positioning in Nigeria. At a time when the manufacturing sector has been dominated by men because it was considered to be too challenging for women, she has used her entrepreneurial prowess to show the relevance of women in the sector.
The manufacturing industry is contributing nearly 13% of GDP to the Nigerian economy.
Folashade and her husband, Rasak are industrialists who have contributed significantly to this quota by transforming a small trading company into one of the largest conglomerates and indigenous manufacturers of household products in Nigeria, employing about 5000 people.
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