The Federal Government and the International Labour Organisation have called for more collaboration and partnerships to tackle 15 million children from child labour in Nigeria.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal at the National Children Conference in commemoration of the 2022 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), with theme “Universal Social Protection to end Child Labour’’, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ngige recalled that in 2015, world leaders gathered and adopted the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 8.7 in all its forms by 2025. According to him, the call sought to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour and modern day slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
He therefore said that the collaboration and partnerships was imperative amidst growing concerns of a global social crisis with alarming proportion.
According to him, global estimates have shown that child labour is on the rise; with an increase from 152 million to 160 million between 2016 and 2020. “Sub-Saharan Africa has seen 19.6 per cent of all African children in child labour, and a possible nine per cent in hazardous work; this is in contrast to continued progress being made elsewhere in the world.
“In Nigeria, child labour has become a scourge.
Several children find themselves on the streets, forced to make a living, with others employed in industrial complexes and hazardous environments.
“Statistics revealed there are about 15 million child workers as at 2020, according to the ILO, with the UN warning that the absence of mitigating strategies could see an increase of children engaged in child labour by the end of 2022. “This of course, will most certainly have massive implications in the near future.
However, as a country, we take pride in stating that considerable efforts have been made in dealing with this menace,’’ he said.
He added that most notably the adoption and ratification of ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on Minimum Age and Worst forms of child labour, respectively.
He also said that others are the passage of the Child Rights Act into law to domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with adoption by about 30 state governments.
He said that the implementation and enforcement of National Action Plan on Child Labour, Prohibition and Elimination of Forced Labour, Modern Slavery, and Human Trafficking in workplaces was spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Ngige also said the National Steering Committee, as well as State Steering Committees, and Desk Officers on Child Labour were established at all levels of government and institutional levels to translate the provisions of the five-year National Action Plan. “In spite of all these, we require more collaboration and partnerships to confront the task ahead of us,’’ he said.
The minister, while speaking on the theme for the year called for more investments in social protection systems in order to create a strong protection base that will keep children away from child labour.
`According to him, as we reflect on the progress being made so far, let us also not lose sight of the importance of providing safety nets for children in vulnerable conditions.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 brought with it a chain reaction that caused devastating effects on the long-term development and safety of children worldwide.
As a result, families were plunged into poverty and vulnerable conditions, among others.
“Also the households needing to employ various means for survival; this meant children were forced to go into the streets to bring income, exposing them to higher levels of vulnerability compared to adults,’’ he said.
He also noted that countries all over the world had to expand their social protection systems to adequately respond to the crisis, which could reduce the number of children in child labour.
He therefore said that President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration had done a lot in addressing some challenges fueling child labour in Nigeria.
“This include tackling poverty through Social Investment programmes such as Conditional Cash-transfer, Trader moni, N-power, Home Grown School Feeding,’’ he said.
He however commended the National Steering Committee and other stakeholders for putting together the forum for dialogue in the interest of the Nigerian children.
Also, Mrs Vanessa Phala, the ILO Country Director to Nigeria, said that in Nigeria, not less than 15 million children are engaged in child labour, and half of the number are bearing the heavy burden of hazardous work.
“I am pleased to tell you that the International Labour Organisation’s Dutch Government funded ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria, in collaboration with the ILO’s tripartite partners, has intensified its social protection with a series of interventions in line with the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan. “Others are the Nigeria’s National Action Plan, State Action Plans, and other roadmaps to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7- the total elimination of all forms of child labour and forced labour by 2025. “In addition, over 100 pupils and students have received re-enrolment and school kit support to keep their dreams alive and prepare for a better future,’’ she said.
Phala also noted that these interventions have targeted identified vulnerable children, guardians and parents in focal communities of Ondo, Niger and Osun States, with impacts beyond geographical boundaries.
According to her, to sustain our interventions, governments, social partners, the media, others need to constantly engage children to ensure sustainable policies, and implement legal requirements for the elimination of child labour through monitoring.
“There also need to improve relevant policy frameworks and provide innovative solutions to address poverty which is the root cause of child labour and forced labour.
“We urge employers to honour the right of workers to social protection by constantly remitting the employer’s contribution to health protection, old age benefits, employment injury scheme, and other support systems,’’ she said.
The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) has opened bids submitted by air carriers for the 2022 pilgrimage.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that two air carriers and five ground handlers submitted their bids.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary, Rev. Yakubu Pam assured that the commission would continue to be transparent in its dealings.
S NCPC, Rev. Yakubu Pam and Chairman House Commitee of Pilgrims Affairs, Abubakar Nalaraba Pam who gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja during the bid opening, added that the commission would ensure integrity of the process and in all other activities it carried out.
The executive secretary said that the successful bidders would transport and handle the pilgrims expected to perform the spiritual exercise in Israel, Jordan, Rome and other holy sites to be unveiled by the commission later.
He affirmed that one of his agenda is to fight corruption, adding, “let everyone know that NCPC is proud to represent Christians in Nigeria, integrity is not only preached here, but also practiced.
” Pam commended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for his tireless support to the NCPC.
In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Pilgrims Affairs, Abubakar Nalaraba said the transparency of the bidding process would ensure the smooth transportation of pilgrims.
Nalaraba applauded the executive secretary for his tireless efforts in making the pilgrimage exercise a success through his innovative ideas that has brought light to the commission.
The Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement, represented by Mr Ojougboh Nelson, said due process must be followed to ensure that the bidding conformed with set standards.
The NCPC Head of Procurement, Mr Sunday Umujose who conducted the bid opening exercise, said two submissions were received from air carriers and five from ground handlers.
He assured that the selection process would be free and fair.
Both Serkan Yazicioglu, Executive Director, ATLASJET Nigeria Ltd, an air carrier and Sharia Srour of Tabar Tours, a ground handler, said safety was a major component they won’t compromise for Nigerian pilgrims.
The Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) and other stakeholders have called on journalists to educate grassroot communities towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The AMDF, during a zoom meeting to mark its 2022 Bagauda Kaltho Media Lecture Series, advised journalists to hold policy makers and their representatives accountable towards achieving the SDGs. Dr Linus Akor, Senior Lecturer, Sociology Department, Federal University, Gusau, in a paper highlighted the role media play in the society, particularly towards achieving any meaningful development.
While discussing “The Nexus Between the Mass media, Sustainable Development and Promotion of the SDGs,” the don urged the media to use their platform to educate the society about holding stakeholders accountable.
He described the mass media as change agents, who serve as watchdog in the society, hence the need for them to ensure the achievements of SDGs target 2030 and any other developmental projects.
Akor, however, listed obstacles hindering the achievements of SDGs to include poor access to free media, over concentration of media in urban areas than rural communities and ownership of media organisations by elites.
He therefore encouraged the media to focus their reportage on developmental issues especially with focus in rural areas.
Mr Abdullah El-Kurebe, a senior Media Practitioner and Public Analyst, stressed the need for the media to set an agenda that would ensure all projects are effectively implemented and promises kept.
El-Kurebe described that most media organisations were owned by politicians and policy makers, hence some of the reports were biased and not centred on community development.
He therefore stressed the need for community radio in rural areas to disseminate information that would enable the people hold their political representative accountable for development projects.
Another panelist, Sola Ojo, a media practitioner, called on the media to ensure sustainability and continuous reportage of development projects to ensure the persons involved are held accountable.
Mrs Zhiro Jairus, another media practitioner, called on journalists to make citizens understand the role legislature and policy makers play in SDGs and other projects.
Mr Iliya Kure, the Executive Director, AMDF, urged the media to integrate elements of fact checking and investigative journalism in their reportage, which will hold relevant stakeholders accountable for promises made and execution of projects effectively.
Mr Joseph Edegbo, a veteran journalist, said the lecture was timely as it also highlighted unresolved issues surrounding the disappearance of Mr Bagauda Kaltho, a renowned investigative journalist who went missing in 1996.
Commission offers skills training for 300 youths in Abuja JDPC,it’s team and some beneficiaries.
Commission offers skills training for 300 youths in Abuja Empowerment By Bridget Ikyado Abuja, Sept. 20, 2021 The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Archdiocese of Abuja, has begun a skills training programme for 300 youths to make them self reliant and contribute to societal development.
Mr Josephat Abaagu, the Vice Chairman of the commission inaugurated the Youth Entrepreneurship Development and Empowerment Scheme (YEDAS) on Tuesday in Abuja, on behalf of the Chairman, Damian Dodo, SAN.
The empowerment scheme was in partnership with the Catholic Relief Services.
He said that Nigeria must invest in the youths in order to ensure a better and prosperous future.
“A nation which leaves a vast majority of its youth uneducated and unskilled, risks a certain future of poverty, insecurity and high possibility of an ultimately failed state”, he said.
Abaagu said that the skills training was initiated based on the realization that nation building is not the exclusive business of government, but a collective effort.
He appreciated His Grace, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. lgnatius Kaigama for revamping the JDPC, which is the social arm of the church.
Abaagu said the JDPC in the last two years, has provided potable drinking water in several communities through partnership with different organizations.
“We have ongoing revolving loans and micro credits to youths and women in all the parishes, chaplaincies and pastoral areas in the Archdiocese.
“In collaboration with INEC, we have sponsored the registration of many hitherto unregistered voters and also trained several for election monitoring duties.
“We have provided assistance to IDP camps, relief materials to victims of demolition exercises and fire disaster victims.
“We have also provided wheelchair to physically challenged persons and motorcycles to remote pastoral areas for evangelism”, the vice chairman said.
He added that the commission has been working to fight human trafficking with support from the United States Agency for International Development’s Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement.
He commended the Archbishop for ensuring that the commission realised its vision of a mega multipurpose youth center, to provide skills acquisition in different areas.
The vice chairman said the centre would impart leadership skills, mentorship and to also serve as venue for youth recreation, sports and other programmes.
“This will no doubt be a game changer for the youth of the FCT,” he added.
Abaagu said that at the end of the training, successful participants would be empowered by the commission The vice chairman appreciated the Catholic Relief Services for partnering with JDPC to provide relief to “just a few of the very large army of the unemployed, unskilled, uneducated, marginalized and often exploited youth of the FCT”.
He said that this would make them self employed, employabie and even employers of labour in no distant future.
“More than anything else, after training, they wiIl regain their self respect and the dignity God bestowed on all humans at creation.
” He enjoined the youth to take the training seriously in order to win the empowerment packages earmarked for successful trainees.
In a project overview, Mr Timothy Ejeh, Programmes Director, JDPC, said the commission had since its creation in 1994, remained committed to delivering on its mandate.
He said the scheme is a two year pilot project to strengthen the skills set and financial security of vulnerable youth in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, for enhanced livelihood.
Ejeh added that apart from providing them with access to newer and innovative alternative sources of livelihood, it would build and expand youth skills set.
“Thereby making them employable, improve market access, consumption demand and supply chain linkages for vulnerable youth in the FCT.
“To provide mentorship and proper career direction for over 80% of youth who pass through the scheme called YEDES.
“To minimize crime among and by youths by 55% through profitable engagement, and provide access to finance through savings, grants, credit, venture capital and equity.
” Some of the skills to be taught include Digital Photography and Video Editing, development, Catering and Event Planning.
Others include, Fashion Design, Poultry and Fish Farming, Graphic Design, Interior decoration, Making, among others.
In his good will message, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, represented by Gabriel Ojelade, Deputy Director, Employment, in the ministry, said the Federal Government had established 27 Skills Upgrading and Vocational Training Centres nationwide.
“These centres are fully equipped to train youth in over 60 specific skills and trades.
He commended the church for the initiative to empower youth with life long skills to contribute to national development.
In his remarks, the Archbishop who commissioned the scheme commended the JDCP and their partners and urged government and the private sector not to relent in assisting the youth.
He enjoined the participants to be focused and take the training seriously, so as to prosper.
“Light the candle, rather than cause the darkness.
All we expect right for the nation will happen by the Grace of God, if not now, then later,” Kaigama prayed.
Dane Fredenburg, Deputy Country Representative, Catholic Relief Services said, “for any nation to prosper, the youth, security, health and education must be taken seriously, which Nigeria is doing”.
Also, Emrah Ilgen, President UFUK Dialogue Foundation said the youths were the greatest potentials of any nations and should be focused on.
He commended Nigeria for its effort to curb insecurity by empowering the youths.
The Emir of Lafia, retired Justice Sidi Bage, has rated members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly high on passage of bills and resolutions that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The first class traditional ruler made the commendation on Tuesday in Lafia while receiving the Speaker of the state legislature, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, who led his colleagues on a condolence visit to the emir over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Safiyanu Bage. He appreciated the speaker and his members for identifying with the traditional institution during its trial moment and prayed God to reward them accordingly.
Bage told the lawmakers that he has been following their activities and expressed satisfaction with their performance so far.
“Mr speaker, I want to appreciate you, you are a blessing to the state.
I want to show my happiness with what you people are doing at the state legislature towards peace, unity and development of the state.
“You have passion for the state, the achievements so far recorded in the state, you have the credit and I urge you to sustain the spirit,” said the emir.
Bage however urged the people of the state to continue to live in peace and tolerate one another irrespective of their affiliations for development to thrive.
The speaker had earlier condoled with the traditional ruler over the demise of his elder brother (Alhaji Safiyanu Bage).
Abdullahi, who described death as the necessary end of every mortal, enjoined the emir to accept the demise of the deceased in good faith.
“Your Royal Highness, there is time to be born and there is time to die, may Allah in His infinite mercy console you and the entire family over this painful loss.
“May the Almighty Allah forgive the deceased of his shortcomings, reward his good deeds and grant him Aljannatul Firdaus as final abode amen,” he prayed.
The also speaker prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
NAN) The Police Command in Niger has arrested two suspects for operating an illegal Health Science College in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.
DSP Wasiu Abiodun, the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the development to newsmen on Tuesday in Minna.
Abiodun said the two suspects, who posed as the Proprietor and Director of the illegal Excellence College of Health Sciences in Maikunkele, Bosso Local Government Area, were from Shiroro Local Government of Niger and Enugu State respectively.
The PPRO said the suspects were arrested on Sept. 9, based on intelligence received by the Command’s Intelligence unit.
” The two persons were suspected for establishing and operating a fake school known as Excellence College of Health Sciences and Technology, located in Maikunkele area of Bosso LGA.
“During interrogation, the suspected Proprietor confessed to have established the school in the year 2020 and commenced admission in 2021 without any authorisation or certification from appropriate government bodies.
“He further confessed that he forged a certificate of registration to deceive members of the public to register and gain admission into the school,” Abiodun said.
He said suspect revealed that about 100 unsuspecting students had enrolled into the college after paying N78,000 each for tuition and other charges.
The Command’s spokesperson said that the second suspect, who hails from Enugu State and serving as the director, was in charge of managing the illegal school with about 20 teachers.
He said that the suspects would be arraigned as soon as investigation is concluded.
Access Bank Plc, has rewarded its customers with millions of naira, smartphones and other prizes in the first phase of the AccessMore Mega Reward Scheme.
Head, Marketing and Communications, Access Bank, Mrs Chioma Afe, said in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday that the reward was part of the bank’s strategy to drive easy, effective and rewarding banking, using its AccessMore mobile app.
According to the bank, between N10 million and N12 million will be doled out to its customers between now and December 2022. Emerging as the grand prize winner of the N1 million of the first phase, Precious Nwuba, who could not hide his excitement, urged Nigerians to participate in the initiative.
“I learnt about the scheme and decided to participate reluctantly.
I forgot all about it and when I was told that I had won N1 million, I could not believe it.
“I felt it was a lie but the bank urged me to visit my branch in Ondo State and it was there I confirmed that I indeed won N1 million.
“I am grateful to God and the bank for coming up with this initiative amid the harsh times in the economy.
I will spread the word about this; it is still a miracle to me,” Nwuba said.
Afe said that the app was launched in 2020 as a way to encourage customers to use the app to make transactions due to the lockdown.
She noted that the bank experienced increased patronage of the app and decided to reward its customers by introducing the reward initiative in 2022. “We kept it simple; we kept it in the app and we said, if you make N100 on the rewards, you can just quickly redeem it or we keep reminding you because it is available for you for a period of time.
“You can use it to offset bills such as light bills, cable bills and so on; we saw customers do it consistently from 2020. “So, in 2022, we decided to do something to reward our customers so that more people can tap into the rewards and see the benefits for them, especially to refer other customers and to give them something more.
“So we pegged some money down and I think in total we will be giving out about N10 toN12 million including the trip between now and December.
“Hence, we have cash prizes, gadgets, Iphones and other amazing prizes for our customers, ‘’ she said.
Senior Banking Adviser, Retail Banking at Access Bank, Rob Giles, said that the first phase involved the bank rewarding about five customers with N100,000 and N1 million, saying that the second phase of the reward scheme would be between now and December.
Giles said, “The steps to take to enjoy rewards on the app are quite easy.
Simply download the AccessMore app, register (signup) and opt into Access Rewards and Referrals on the app to get 100 points.
“Each complete referral you make, earns you additional 100 points.
Once you onboard 20 to 30 new people onto the AccessMore app, you get 2000 to 3000 points, respectively and this qualifies you for a chance to win cash prizes of up to N1 million.
“Customers can also stand a chance to win iPhones (13 phones), and other cash prizes of N100,000 and N50,000 and other amazing rewards.
The great thing is, the more you transact, the more points you earn’’.
The Access Bank AccessMore app is a unique payment application built on cutting- edge technology, offering tailored and personalised services.
The app is easy to use and is available for download on Android PlayStore and iOS Store.
A Tourism and Hospitality Advocate, Wale Ojo-Lanre, says consumption of “Ponmo”, cow skin, is not contributing in anyway, to the downward slide of production in leather industry in Nigeria.
Ojo-Lanre, also the President, Ponmo Consumers Stakeholders in Nigeria, made this clarification in a statement on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti.
Ponmo is a popular supplement in soups prepared in many Nigerian homes, especially in the Southwestern part of the country where families of different classes are using it as an alternative or together with beef meat and chicken.
Ojo-Lanre, also faulted the claims by Alhaji Mohammed Yakubu, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), that cow skin (ponmo) consumption was contributing to the downward slide of production in Nigeria’s leather industry.
He was the Director-General, Ekiti State State Council for Arts and Culture and currently, the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development to Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti.
NILEST is a government agency responsible for the promotion of leather production in the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975. It conducts research on leather products and the use of local tanning materials in Nigeria.
Yakubu had called for prohibition of Ponmo’s consumption, claiming that its prohibition would be necessary to revive the comatose leather industry in the country.
Ojo-Lanre said that the call for ban of Ponmo by NILEST Director-General would not have been necessary, if the institute had looked inwards through laudable ideas to other ways to increase leather production in the country.
He decried the proposed move by Yakubu to approach the National Assembly to enact law for the ban of Ponmo, a skin product used as adjunct at meals.
According to him, NILEST charged with the sustainability of the leather should think outside the box for sustainable strategies and formulas to shore up leather production, instead of calling for its ban.
Ojo-Lanre said that decrease in leather production in Nigeria was not as a result of ponmo consumption.
He said that ponmo has not only been beyond the reach of the people, but scarce, because of low production and lack of support to the livestock sector.
Ojo-Lanre, also a Tourism Ambassador, urged the institute concerned to research into the low production in leader industry and come up with the viable option of increments, instead of calling for ban of ponmo.
He urged NILEST management to do a proper fact-checking on low production of leather in Nigeria and should not believe that ponmo had drastically affected the output of leather.
The tourism ambassador identified some of the causes of low leather production as no positive intervention from the government, livestock under serious health infection, high cost of drugs due to exchange rate and lack of green pasture, among others.
He called on Nigerians to ask the NILEST when last it organise training and seminars for livestock growers and incentives available for livestock farmers.
According to him, when last has the institute engaged livestock growers and farmers in Nigeria to evaluate their constraints and challenges?
“And, what has it done to address the lack of skills, technology, intermediate inputs and processing equipment battling livestock growers and farmers in Nigeria?
A group, Ogoni Sim Vanguard (OSV), has canvassed support for Siminalayi Fubara, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 gubernatorial candidate in Rivers.
The Chairman of the group’s Board of Trustee, Mr Marvin Yobana, said in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, that it adopted Fubara after consulting widely with leaders, youths and other stakeholders in Rivers.
He said the group pitched tent with PDP, to ensure that Fubara emerged governor because he had better credentials than the gubernatorial candidates of other political parties.
He said: “Before we adopted Fubara, we quizzed ourselves about which political party had the best interest of Rivers South-East Senatorial District at heart.
“So, after x-raying the parties and candidates, we concluded that it was only under Gov. Nyesom Wike that Ogoniland witnessed massive infrastructural development.
“Fubara, who is from Opobo in the South-East Senatorial District, and by extension a son of Ogoniland, is young, hardworking, loyal and consistent in his service to the state.
” Yobana said OSV had been advocating the involvement of youths in leadership, adding that Fubara’s emergence as governor would bring the needed dynamism in governance.
He said the PDP gubernatorial candidate had been tested, trusted and had delivered in all the positions he held, serving the state.
“If PDP and Gov. Wike will choose Fubara, then young people in his senatorial district must come out en masse to support and vote him into office.
“We deemed it necessary to form a vanguard of young people, volunteers that are ready to go to the grassroots to sell the candidature of Fubara.
“Fubara has the structure and backing, and as such, we will not waste our votes by voting for other candidates of Ogoni extraction, who have no electoral value,” he added.
Yobana clarified that OSV would not support any candidate based on where the candidate hailed from, but would only support a candidate who intended to be governor for all.
He said the group would soon visit every home in Ogoniland, covering Eleme, Khana, Gokana and Tai, to sensitise the people on how to protect information on their PVCs. “Gov. Wike has completed several projects in Ogoniland, including the dual carriageway Saakpenwa-Kono road.
“He has upgraded Bori Polytechnic with satellite campuses, among others.
So electing Fubara will ensure continuity,” he said.
HE President Adama Barrow, on Monday, September 19, 2022, received the Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Nahyan Bin Mubarak, while he was in New York to participate in UNGA77.
During the meeting which was aimed at strengthening the already existing relations between his two countries, President Barrow emphasized the importance of partnerships that would improve the livelihoods of Gambians, saying: “We want partners who invest in areas that would impact the lives of the Gambians.
For his part, Minister Mubarak expressed his country's desire to partner with Gambia in the mutual interest of both countries.
The two leaders discussed the UAE's involvement in the use of port operators in the maritime domain, the ratification of the UAE and The Gambia treaty, agricultural development, financing of OIC projects and the situation of Gambian detainees in the United Arab Emirates.