Ms. Afadzinu, executive director of the West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI) said on Thursday that the institute was launched in Nigeria to strengthen civic space and encourage local donors.
Afadzinu at a press conference in Abuja announcing the establishment of WACSI in Nigeria said the move was an important milestone for the Institute.
She said that WACSI was conceptualized by OSIWA, in consultation with civil society in West Africa and established in 2005 with its base in Accra, Ghana.
According to her, the Institute began operations in 2007 with a mandate to strengthen civil society in West Africa to be responsive, collaborative, representative, resilient and influential through knowledge sharing, learning, connection and influence.
He said that with WACSI in Nigeria it would open up more opportunities for civil society in Nigeria.
“From a study commissioned by WACSI to determine the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on CSOs in Nigeria, it became clear that CSOs were significantly negatively affected.
“Of the 80 CSOs that participated in the survey, 38.4 percent reported having had funding cuts from major donors.
“However, 58.1% of CSOs were unable to raise any internal resources during the pandemic to supplement external donor funding; 55.8 percent of CSOs agreed that they did not have the capacity to mobilize internal resources.
“This revealed the fragility of the official sustainability of many CSOs in the country”.
Afadzinu said he also pointed to the pressing need for CSOs to look inward to reduce their dependence on foreign sources of support.
He said therefore, in the face of declining international support, it has become desirable to broaden the support base available and accessible to CSOs in the country to engage all Nigerians.
He said WACSI's physical presence in Nigeria now meant that Nigerian CSOs could easily access its services and training to build their capacity so they could mobilize domestic resources and become sustainable.
He added that the pandemic also exposed the vulnerability of CSOs to digital security threats and technological capacity gaps that affect actors in the sector.
Afadzinu said that in response to the technological capacity gaps facing the country, the Institute, with the support of TechSoup Global, donated 14 laptops to six organizations, relevant software and training to enable their effective use.
She said it was a pilot project that was remarkably beneficial to the institutions that benefited from it, and based on the results, WACSI was looking for more opportunities to support civil society organizations in similar need.
“Civic space in Nigeria, like many other West African countries, is shrinking and creating an environment that impedes the effectiveness of civil society.
“With the support of the Ford Foundation, WACSI is implementing the Civic Space Resource Center in collaboration with Spaces for Change to provide the necessary resources for civil society actors to build their resilience and meet the challenges of civic space.”
Afadzinu said that the program targeted three West African countries, including Nigeria, adding that civil society actors in Nigeria were therefore key players in WACSI's sphere of influence.
He said that Nigeria had a large number of civil society organizations in the country, consisting of approximately 46,000 non-governmental organizations and counting, in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Therefore, he said that given that number, it became clear to WACSI's board and management that they needed to be more responsive to demands from civil society in Nigeria.
This, he said, necessitated the need to make the Institute's services easily accessible and more affordable for civic actors in Nigeria.
Afadzinu said that the WACSI node would act as a liaison office and connect civil society organizations and their partners with the various service offerings provided by WACSI.
He added that these included training, mentoring, and coaching to build capacity in institutional governance, management, and operations of nonprofit organizations; And this is not limited to NGOs.
She said WACSI would work on resource challenges for civil society organizations with a focus on exploring alternative funding sources and strengthening local philanthropy.
He said that as a regional organization, WACSI's long-standing commitment to ECOWAS would also be enhanced by its presence in Abuja.
“In addition to launching the WACSI Node, the Institute will also hold a technology event that will showcase what service offerings exist for civic actors in Nigeria.
“We are hopeful that WACSI's Nigeria node will bring us even closer and strengthen our long-standing relationship.
`Together we will work to build a strong, influential, resilient and sustainable civil society sector in Nigeria, which can effectively contribute to the peace, security and prosperity of Nigeria and West Africa.
Source Credit: NAN
The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) are organizing a workshop to train aviation safety investigators and airport correspondents, among others, in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the 5-day workshop was organized in collaboration with the Southern California Security Institute (SCSI).
He also reports that the workshop is taking place in Abuja.
Speaking, Mr. Matt Robinson, an Air Accident Investigation expert at SCSI, said on Thursday that the program was designed to ensure participants understood the basic principles of Air Accident Investigation.
Robison also said that participants would learn the aviation security standards framework required for the effective conduct and coordination of aviation Security Management Systems (SMS).
“Upon completion of this course, you will join more than 30,000 security professionals who have been educated by SCSI,” he said.
According to him, SCSI's mission is to be the global center of excellence in delivering quality aviation accident investigation and safety training that is timely, efficient and cost-effective to the world.
In his contribution, the coordinator of the program, Dr. Abiodun Asekun, a renowned aeronautical engineer, said that the participants came from industry regulators, air traffic controllers, air accident investigators, media professionals, among others.
According to Asekun, the contents of the training will provide the basic skills required for the effective investigation of the occurrence of air accidents and their coverage with the good management of information oriented to the accuracy of the reports.
“The workshop with the theme: “Investigation Management and Media Relations (IMMR) is part of the Bureau of Accident Investigation's effort to promote aviation safety in Nigeria.
“Course topics include: investigation process, international (ICAO) investigation procedures, investigation preparation, accident site safety, bloodborne pathogens, and priorities.
“It also includes initial actions, reciprocating engines, turbine engine, oil and fuel analysis, structures and materials, fire analysis, aircraft system, instruments, recording devices, flight data analysis.
“Training content also includes military aspects and case studies, wreckage recovery and reconstruction, underwater salvage, photography and diagramming, witness interviews, aircraft performance factors, computers and simulation,” he said.
According to him, human factors (HFACS 7.0), aviation maintenance, physiology, accident pathology, analytical techniques, legal aspects and information requirements will also be included in the training.
Asekun also said that other topics include family defense, media relations, non-destructive examination and evidence gathering.
Others are reporting preservation construction, investigation management, helicopter accident investigations, safety management system, deployment and use of RPAS as part of the course topics.
Edited / Bashir Rabe Mani
Source Credit: NAN
Alhaji Ahmed Gombe, External Consultant of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Nigeria, has called for a partnership between the Nigerian News Agency and the Moroccan news agency, MAP, in the areas of exchange, capacity building and review by pairs.
The consultant made the call during a courtesy visit to the Director General of , Mr. Buki Ponle, on Thursday in Abuja.
Gombe, who is also special adviser on strategy and information management to Governor Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe State, was praised for the quality of his services and workmanship.
He said that Morocco's own news agency, Maghreb Arabe Press (MAP), can benefit from Morocco's vast experience, capacity and reach through a strategic partnership.
“I would like to make a proposal with , so that whenever we have events in Morocco, you can actively participate in MAP activities.
“Last time, I was tasked with the responsibility of getting a representative accredited for a MAP event, and the quality of their representation was greatly appreciated,” he said.MD, Mr. Buki Ponle and Ahmed Gombe, Special Advisor on Information Management and Strategy to Gombe State Governor Muhammad Yahaya on Thursday in Abuja
Gombe also said that Africa has become the centerpiece of Morocco's foreign policy and Nigeria and Morocco enjoy a very cordial bilateral relationship.
"Nigeria and Morocco have 22 bilateral agreements, the highest in the continent, many of which were signed during the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari," he said.
He cited OCP Africa's investment in developing fertilizer solutions in Nigeria and the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project as evidence of Nigerian and Moroccan diplomatic and economic cooperation.
Therefore, he made a call to further consolidate that mutually beneficial relationship with MAP.
Gombe promised to broker a meeting between the Moroccan ambassador and MD "to have a compromise on how to further strengthen the relationship between the agencies."
Responding, Ponle said partnering with MAP would be in line with MAP's focus as a world-class media organization.
“We have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Turkish and Belgian news agencies, as well as other international media organizations.
"We had tried to have a meeting with the MAP in the past, but with you we are optimistic that our relationship will be consolidated," he said.
Ponle, who said that Africa has always been the centerpiece of , said that the continent should start telling its own stories through its own lens.
Source Credit: NAN
An NGO, The Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF), has underlined the need for government at all levels to embark on a decisive and sustainable response mechanism for flood management across the country.
Dr. Arome Salifu, Executive Director of the Foundation, made the call at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Salifu said that flooding in many parts of the country in recent times has resulted in several deaths, with millions displaced, livelihoods destroyed, infrastructure and farms swept away.
He said it contributed to a complete stagnation in people's daily life routines, including education, work and other socio-economic commitments.
Salifu urged that to mitigate the impact of flooding in the country, rivers need to be dredged a few feet lower to prevent the water from overflowing at the slightest opportunity.
“Furthermore, people in waterfront areas should be educated about the dangers of building in flood-prone areas. They must also be evacuated to places above sea level,” she said.
Salifu also urged the government to implement a proper early warning and response system through better weather monitoring.
He added: “It should build the institutional capacity to evacuate people and respond to such major emergencies on time.
“The government should also properly monitor the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, as it was one of the main causes of the bank overflow.
“It should also plan to locate and build a similar dam in Nigeria to regulate and manage flooding.
"It must take advantage of the agricultural, industrial and technological opportunities and advantages that could arise with such a historic hydroelectric infrastructure."
According to him, the negative impact of climate change on society and general well-being cannot be overemphasized.
Salifu said: “It had become the main threat to our present and future civilization and survival.
“It is disheartening that communities in 33 of the 36 states and FCTs have been systematically cut off from one another due to the unfortunate flooding that took place between September and October.”
The AYGF attributed the flooding to heavy rains and mainly to the overflow of the riverbanks due to the opening of the Lagdo dam in Cameroon.
He called on governments at all levels and other relevant stakeholders to come together to provide emergency humanitarian aid support services to flood victims in different IDPscamps in affected states.
While he sympathized with the victims of the floods, especially the mourners, he said the Foundation would continue to provide humanitarian support to the country's poor and vulnerable.
The Africa Youth Growth Foundation is an NGO created with the sole purpose of contributing to a positive change in the economic and social status of African youth through effective programs that provide sustainable results.
=================.Edited /Bashir Rabe Mani
Source Credit: NAN
Almajiri children and their parents in Kaduna state praised the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Kaduna government for introducing a social safety net for 2,674 children reunited with their families.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the Kaduna government, with the support of UNICEF, inaugurated on Wednesday the disbursement of a monthly cash transfer of N5,000 under the Children in Street Situation programme.
The Hausa word “Almajiri” refers to children from the non-formal Koranic school who migrate from their homes in search of Islamic knowledge.
Almajirai are children, usually from poor rural backgrounds in northern Nigeria, who leave their hometowns to study with itinerant Koran teachers.
The term has been expanded to refer to any youth who begs on the streets and does not attend a secular school.
The Almajiri children said in separate interviews in Kaduna on Thursday that the support would transform their lives forever.
The children were among more than 10,000 street children who joined their parents to enroll and stay in school to acquire basic education.
They said the support has given them the opportunity to gain formal education and grow to their full potential.
One of the children, Aminu Waziri, 9, said he was happy to be among the program's beneficiaries.
The visibly elated little Waziri said he was excited because he now lives with his parents and has the opportunity to enroll in a formal school.
In addition, his father, Mr. Waziri Mailafiya, from the Kudan Local Government Area of the state, said that his son has been enrolled in public primary school ever since and promised to support him to grow and develop.Beneficiary of the "Street Children Program" supported by UNICEF/EU
Mailafiya, a father of six, praised UNICEF and the state government for the support, which he described as "life changing".
Another beneficiary, Ahmed Suleiman, 11, said he was glad he wasn't begging for food courtesy of the program.
Suleiman, who said he wants to be a soldier when he grows up, said his life was getting better, adding that his dream of becoming a soldier was coming true to serve his country.
Mr. Hassan Idris, Suleiman's uncle, said the support would transform the children's lives and allow them to take advantage of available opportunities to support their growth and development.
Idris blamed poverty for the incidence of street children, adding that with the cash transfer program, parents and guardians no longer have an excuse not to send their children to school.
Another beneficiary, Abdullahi Muhammad, 12, said: “I am very happy with the support, particularly as it will allow me to attend school without interruption.
“Now I am sure that I will achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. I will study hard and make my dreams come true now that I have the opportunity to be in school.
His father, Mr. Salisu Idris, complained that life was difficult for him and he was unable to send his 10 children to school due to poverty.
“I want them to go to school, but I am struggling to feed myself and meet other pressing needs; but now I will be able to send my other children to school thanks to this support,” she said.
UNICEF Child Protection Services, Dr Wilfred Mamah said the Street Children Program was under the UK National Committee Grant.
Project Strengthening access to justice for children on the move and other vulnerable children funded by the European Union.
Mamah said that UNICEF was working with the State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development and other stakeholders to provide critical services to the Almajiri children who remained at home after their reunification.
He added that the efforts would also facilitate their full integration with their communities.
It identified the services as the creation of children's bank accounts for a monthly cash transfer of N5,000, registration and issuance of a national identification number.
The other services, he said, included the acquisition of legal identification and birth registration, enrollment in school, and the provision of school uniforms and teaching materials.
Source Credit: NAN
Governor Inuwa Yahaya
Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, special adviser on strategy and information management to Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state, has said the state is restructuring its entire information management system to improve efficiency.
The special adviser made the statement during a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of the Nigerian News Agency , Mr. Buki Ponle, at the agency's headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja.
He further said that as part of the restructuring, the state would implement its comprehensive communication strategy across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) in December.
“Much has been accomplished, but very little has been said about our achievements. Therefore, this is an opportunity to review our information management system.
"We want everyone involved in our information system to be more proactive, while at the same time becoming more efficient in reactive and preventive communication," he said.
According to him, the state recently launched HE Direct – His Excellence Direct, an interactive platform where the people of Gombe communicate directly with their governor as part of the reform process.
He also said that the welfare of media professionals in the state had also been considered an important part of the restructuring to improve professionalism.
“We have launched a media cooperative and multipurpose partnership to serve the interests of media professionals in the state.
“The initiative involves correspondents, the NUJ and other stakeholders, and we hope it will be a model that other states can replicate,” he said.
Also as part of the efforts, the special adviser said he had introduced the Gombe New Media Internship Initiative so that young people can positively use social media.
He said that in the age of fake news and hate speech spread mainly through social media, it is important to know who and what is being done in the name of Gombe State on social media platforms.
“The interns in the sector will be taken to promote our activities and regulate the content generated.
“We will also provide capacity building programs for interns to improve their ability to generate content for our communication,” he said.
While soliciting the support of to achieve its stated goals, Shuaibu-Gara Gombe ensured the continued sharing of information and maximum cooperation from the state.
In response, MD praised the state government for prioritizing the welfare of journalists working in the state.
“When the welfare of any citizen is taken seriously, when they have food, clothing and housing, a large part of the problems are solved.
“It is highly commendable that the state has identified the well-being of media professionals as a challenge and is willing to address it,” he said.
Noting that 70 percent of media content in Nigeria emanates from , Mr. Ponle pledged the agency's support to Gombe as it repositions its information management system.
Source Credit: NAN
Mr. Buki Ponle, Managing Director of the Nigerian News Agency has said that better media engagement leads to better recognition of programs and projects by citizens.
Ponle was responding to a comment made by Gombe State Governor Muhammad Yahaya's Special Adviser on Information Strategy and Management, during a courtesy visit to the headquarters Thursday in Abuja.
Gombe had told MD that the Gombe government and people were surprised that Governor Yahaya was not recognized with a national honor during the recent award to notable Nigerians.
“Much has been achieved in Gombe State under Your Excellency. Education, health, infrastructure, income generation and other sectors have received important boosts under his administration.
“That is why we were surprised that the national honor was not conferred on him. But then, we saw it as an opportunity to overhaul our information management system,” she said.Mr. Buki Ponle, MD, and Ahmed Gombe, Special Advisor on Information Management and Strategy to Gombe State Governor Muhammad Yahaya on Thursday in Abuja
Ponle said that Yahaya and other hard-working governors who missed out on national honors was the lack of proper information management and strategic communication.
“Involving the media is crucial to giving your director's achievements the necessary boost.
“With his appointment and the kind of machinery he has put in place, Governor Yahaya is now clapping with both hands and we will do our part to see him succeed in this new role,” the MD said.
Ponle said Gombe State would explore meaningful collaboration that would help showcase the state's activities and achievements.
To achieve this, he said, a Memorandum of Understanding with deliverables, inputs, schedules and evaluation will be signed with the Gombe State Government.MD, Mr. Buki Ponle and Ahmed Gombe, Special Advisor on Information Management and Strategy to Gombe State Governor Muhammad Yahaya on Thursday in Abuja
Earlier, Gombe thanked the CEO for welcoming him with open arms, saying his visit was an acknowledgment of the role he plays as an information powerhouse.
“My insistence on making this visit is deliberate for two reasons. is a news clearinghouse in Nigeria and I cannot fully fulfill my new mandate without your involvement.
“Furthermore, I have a justified sense of belonging because I have other links with other capacities. I believe that once you have it, you have it all”, she said.
Source Credit: NAN
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Thursday stressed the need to address hyperinflationary pressures, brain drain and other macroeconomic challenges plaguing the country.
Mallam Tijjani Isa, President of ICAN, said this at a press conference to mark the annual International Accounting Day 2022.
Isa said the advice had become imperative as economies around the world faced tough times.
He pointed out that global challenges have intensified with events such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, climate change, rising consumer prices, contractions in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), trade wars, political tensions, among others. others.
Isa said that, at the country level, various socioeconomic imbalances were hitting citizens hard, with inflation at its highest level in 17 years amid declining purchasing power of citizens.
“In order to successfully tackle the problems of inflation, Nigeria needs to take both short-term and long-term measures,” he said.
The president of ICAN highlighted the need to revitalize the textile and agricultural sectors with modern technology and adequate prices to meet the country's textile and food demand, and also for export purposes.
Addressing plans to redesign part of the country's currency, Isa tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider the views of various stakeholders.
This, he explained, would ensure that critical issues such as the cost of designing and printing the new banknotes, the timing of the policy, the likely impact of the policy on inflation and exchange rates were successfully addressed.
He highlighted the need to find a permanent solution to the currency crisis so that the country develops at the desired pace.
On the brain drain, he noted that while the phenomenon is not unique to Nigeria, deliberate steps must be taken to stem the tide.
“Unfortunately, the quality of our certification makes our members more desirable for jobs off our shores.
“The weak socioeconomic environment of our beloved nation has not made it any easier to persuade our local talent to stay.
“Therefore, we encourage the managers of our economy to create a conducive business and regulatory environment that arouses the interest of professionals to stay behind to build our nation,” he said.
According to him, ICAN is doing its part in developing the entrepreneurial skills of its members.
"However, a favorable environment is required for professionals to unfold their full potential in job creation and generation," he said.LR: Dr. Adedeji Awobotu, ICAN Council Member; Mr. Mukaila Lawal, Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services, ICAN; Mallam Tijjani Musa Isa, President of ICAN; Chief Davidson Alaribe, 1st Deputy Vice President, ICAN; Ms. Njum Nnennaya Uma-Onyemenam, ICAN Council Member and Dr. Ijeoma Anaso, Deputy Registrar, Technical Services, ICAN During a health walk to mark International Accounting Day celebration
Addressing the International Accounting Day event, Isa emphasized the need for accountants to take regular walks and eat healthy to tackle some health challenges.
This, he said, would allow them to continue their unique roles in the national and global economy.
“The profession has evolved since 1494 and accountants are globally recognized for the great work they do to make businesses prosper, support the economy and help people navigate the complexities of the office.
“Accountants are the conscience of society and with this unique responsibility, we lead the entrenchment of responsible governance in the public and private sectors.
“We defend an effective civil servant management system, as well as the best practices in corporate governance, we provide indispensable advisory functions to economic actors and invaluable information to guide investors.
"In fact, our expertise is critical to achieving a prosperous and secure planet," he said.
He stressed the need for early adoption of the International Sustainability Reporting Standards to unlock the flow of capital into Nigeria for an effective transition to a sustainability-based economy.
Isa noted that at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in Egypt, the excess of confusion and credibility deficit over zero net assets of non-state entities was discussed.
This, he said, was in tune with resolutions made at the 52nd Annual Conference of Accountants that public sector entities should include sustainability activities in their reporting as solutions to the human challenges of poverty, official inclusion, inequality and climate change.
He stated that the institute was positioned to ensure that the required competencies in this regard were developed.
Source Credit: NAN
Seyi Akinwunmi, president of the Lagos State Football Association, says that women's football is the next big thing that will take the world by storm.
Akinwunmi, who spoke to the Nigerian News Agency on the sidelines of the 2022 Sheroe Awards in Abuja, said women's football was on the rise, especially in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“You see, for us to understand where we're going, we need to understand where we've come from.
“In fact, I had no doubts before the Flamingos left for the U-17 Women's World Cup that they were not going to come back empty-handed after a lot of hard work and preparation.
“In fact, they went and made us proud and people have now seen and recognized that the next big thing in the round leather game in the country is women's soccer.
“This is the message that we must try to push so that sponsors can come in and see the opportunities for growth.
“Thank God this is because of a very good performance in India and it was just that we couldn't make it to the final.
"So, we're proud that they got it right," he said.
The former First Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) praised Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), the organizers of the Sheroes Cup and Award for their efforts in the growth and development of women's football in the country.
“The Sheroes Cup is without doubt the biggest women's football tournament in West Africa.
“I had the privilege of watching some of the tournament matches, both offline and online, and I am very impressed with what they are doing to put African women's football on the map.
“Furthermore, honoring these deserving women through the Sheroes Award is commendable and a wake-up call to other private, multinational organizations and foundations to emulate what the RSDF is doing.
"Congratulations to the RSDF for the excellent work, resources and energy they have put into these projects and I urge them not to give up their efforts," he said.
Margaret Icheen, an NFF Executive Board Member who was among the honorees, said receiving the award and recognition was an encouragement to continue to do more for women's football.
“This is wonderful and quite encouraging as those who have been given awards have made history and when those people are recognized it actually serves as an example for the young people who are coming on board.
"I think events like this will really encourage them and encourage them to do more," said the former vice president of the Nigerian Women's Football League (NWFL).
RSDF chairman Paul Edeh said the award, which was in its third year, was the best ever, but added there was still room for improvement.
“For me, I have always believed that there is no point in venturing into any project that does not have a legacy or an enduring existence.
“This is why the Sheroes Award has entered its third edition this year.
“Certainly I won't beat my chest to say that this is the best, but I can't say that this is definitely the best when you compare it to the previous two editions.
“I assure you that we will continue to improve and as many women and individuals as organizations that continue to support the cause of women, we will catch and reward them.
“One thing that I think we were not able to achieve in this edition is in the area of the official benefits that are attached to the prizes that we had planned.
“But we trust to God that as we climb the ladder of time, we will attract strong organizations that will be able to support this award.
"When this is achieved, we will be able to award official benefits to reward individuals and organizations alike in subsequent editions," he said.
Edeh said his inspiration came first and foremost from God, adding that he was also driven by a passion to make an impact and a legacy in the lives of young women and children alike.
“I am completely dedicated to this project and mission and as God continues to provide the necessary resources, we will continue to improve on what we are doing.
“Slowly but surely, we will get to that point where everyone will come together and say this is our project,” he said.
reports that the list of awardees includes Tobi Amusan (Sheroe Woman of the Year 2022), Asisat Oshoala (Sheroe African Footballer), Monday Gift (Sheroe Women Football Rising Star), Orisakwe Nelly (Grassroot Coach of the Year), and Bankole Olowookere ( Sports Award Icon).
Others are; Betsy Obaseki, Edo State Governor's Wife (Sheroe Trailblazer), Akinwunmi (Most Outstanding Women's Soccer Development FA), Icheen (Lifetime Achievement Award), Tewogbade Oyewole (Women's Soccer Pioneer), and Nneka Onyali-Ikpe ( Sheroe's Visionary Leader Award) ).
The rest includes; Emmanuel Osahon (Sheroe Women's Soccer Talent Developer), Ayisat Aromire (Sheroe Girl Advocate), and Ruqayyah Adeboye (Sheroe Humanitarian Award).
===========Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN
Group photo at the official opening of the cash disbursement to 2,674 Almajiri children, as part of the Street Children program in Kaduna state.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has pledged a continued partnership with the Kaduna State Government to reach vulnerable children across the state with quality child protection services.
Dr. Wilfred Mamah of UNICEF's Child Protection Services said this in Kaduna on Wednesday, at the official launch of the Children in Street Situation cash disbursement to 2,674 children in Almajiri.
Mamah added that the partnership would also ensure that all vulnerable children are protected from all forms of abuse, violence and neglect.
He explained that the Children in Street Situation Program was under the Grant of the National Committee of the United Kingdom.
He noted that COVID-19 has brought to the fore the heightened vulnerability of street children, especially Almajiri children who lack parental support and care.
He said the Almajiri system's long history of informal guardianship arrangements exposes children to violence, abuse and neglect, hindering their rights to life, survival and development.
According to him, the response of the State that saved the lives of these children in the midst of covid-19 will continue to be the point of reference for the human reunification of almajiros and street children with their families.
“UNICEF's alliance with the state through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development (MHSSD), registered the highest number of successful reunifications of 10,817 Almajiri children, the highest in the country.
“This life-saving reunification of children was captured using the innovative Child Protection Information Management (CPIMS) tool.”
He explained that the Street Children and Adolescent Girls programs are being implemented in the state after the success of the reunification program.
The child protection specialist said that so far, a total of 209,950 street children, including adolescents, have been captured in the CPIMS, based on their vulnerability.
He said that the figure is made up of 105,726 almajiro children outside family care and 104,224 adolescent girls out of school.
According to him, the situation of the children of Almajiri and the scenario that characterizes it continue to be one of the critical drivers of the deschooling of children in the state.
“It is to reverse this trend that UNICEF is collaborating with the MHSSD and other stakeholders to provide critical services to the reunited Almajiri children and facilitate their full integration with their communities.
“So far, we have been able to provide key services to the 2,674 Almajiri children who were left at home after the reunifications.”
He identified the services as the creation of bank accounts for children for a monthly cash transfer of N5,000, and the registration and issuance of the National Identification Number.
The other services, he said, include the acquisition of legal identification and birth registration, enrollment in school, and the provision of school uniforms and teaching materials.
“We hope that these initial services will be a springboard for more targeted assistance to these children, including adolescent girls, that will enhance human capital development in the state,” he said.
Mamah appealed to Governor Nasir El-Rufai to consider urgently releasing a matching grant for the program as promised at the start of the project.
According to him, this will allow the state government to expand the intervention to fully integrate all children into communities to make the most of their potential.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, thanked UNICEF, other development partners and stakeholders for supporting the initiative.
Balarabe, who was represented by Kanyi, El-Rufai's deputy chief of staff, said that each of the 2,674 Almajiri would receive N5,000 per month as a cash transfer.
He added that there was already a plan to increase the amount to N10,000 in the following months, with a view to ensuring that children are enrolled and stay in school.
“Under the program, the National Population Commission is providing children with birth certificates; Kaduna SUBEB is providing reading materials, while Keystone Bank opened accounts for beneficiaries.
“Kaduna State Residents Identity Management Agency is registering and enrolling children with National Identification Number (NIN) while UNICEF is providing the funds for cash disbursement,” he said.
Source Credit: NAN