An economist, Dr Ifediora Amobi, has urged Igbo traditional leaders in the South East zone to abolish customs that forbid their women from inheriting their late father's property.
Amobi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday that the abolition of such traditions would enable women to use land as collateral to obtain loans and either set up cottage industries or expand their businesses.
``Igbo women are very enterprising; they are very energetic.
``And one of the reasons I am very passionate towards ensuring their empowerment and upliftment is also because they are constrained by customs.
``Our culture and our tradition constrains them from really achieving their full potential.
``Everything, from inheritance to land ownership, our system is very patrimonial.
``And we have to at least in this day and age be able to relax more of those cultures and those customs.
``And also appreciate the fact that women are the engine of development especially at the
rural level and (we should) give them all the support and encouragement they require.’’
According to him, research has revealed that women have the highest success rate of managing cottage businesses and loan repayment.
Amobi, who is the Executive Director of African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage), Enugu, also advised women to form co-operative societies to work with the institute.
``With the co-operative societies it would be easier to build big cottage industries as well as get credit facilities from financial institutions,’’ he said.
AfriHeritage, formerly African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE), is a pan-African independent organisation with a focus on economic research, capacity building, and networking.