General news

Kula women commend BelemaOil for initiating empowerment



Women from Kula Kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers, on Monday commended BelemaOil Producing Ltd (BPL), an indigenous firm, for commencing the process of empowering women in various businesses.

A retail trader, Mrs Fabia Eleki, told the Nigeria News Agency in Kula, Akuku-Toru LGA that what BelemaOil was doing had never happened since oil exploration began in the area.

Eleki said that if other oil companies operating in Kula territory had emulated BPL empowerment scheme, women in the locality would have been financially independent.

“We all came here for the verification of our nativity to qualify for the empowerment, and sincerely, I am impressed with the large turn-out.

“It shows that women are looking for opportunities like this to be involved in self-paid ventures, so, I thank BPL for initiating the empowerment scheme for women,’’ she said.

Mrs Omielam Charles, a hair stylist, said that she was excited to be invited for verification of women of the host communities.

Charles said that BPL’s decision to empower the deprived women from the kingdom was a right step in the right direction.

“I sincerely appreciate what BelemaOil is doing in Kula Kingdom, this is the first time an oil company operating in the area is willing and taken practical steps to empower women,’’ she said.

Mrs Blanche Eleki, Coordinator of the verification for BelemaOil Producing Ltd, said the empowerment scheme was to ensure women had something doing to meet their needs.

Eleki disclosed that the empowerment would be on stages and that all qualified women from Kula would benefit from the scheme.

“The verification is all about ensuring that the empowerment gets to the right people and see that nobody is denied the opportunity.

Another Coordinator, Mrs Inengiya Awara, commended BPL and described the verification that recorded large turnout as transparent.

“The essence of the empowerment is to see that women are able stand up to face their challenges without waiting for their husbands,’’ she said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that over 1,500 women from Kula Kingdom participated in the exercise.

General news

Kaduna :Women groups stage stand-still-peaceful rally against rape



Some women groups in Kaduna on Thursday staged stand still peaceful rally to end rape in the country.

The rally was organised  by the International Federation of Women Lawyers  (FIDA)  in collaboration Jammiyyar Matan Arewa and other women organisations in the state.

Mrs Zainab Atoba, President, Federation of women Lawyers (FIDA), Kaduna branch said the rally was aimed at saying “enough is enough of all forms of girl-child abuses and abuses of other children that are facing rape cases on daily basis across the country”.

Atoba said that the rate of violence against women and children in the society was getting out of hand, hence the need to quickly address it to save lives of women and children in communities.

She said that the rally was to raise more awareness on the dangers of rape in the society that is affecting lives of innocent children and women, including elderly women and widows.

She  pointed out  that most of the rape victims faced psychological trauma and other health challenges.

According to her, the gathering was to say No to rape in the society, as almost every minute, there is report of  rape of a child  in the country.

“This is not really good for women and children  in the country, ” she said.

The president said the women were calling on Government to consider castrating  rapists or sentence them to death as deterrent.

She called on religious leaders, traditional title holders and other stakeholders to support the battle against rape and other abuses against children.

Similarly, the National President of Jamiyyar Matan Arewa, Rabi Saulawa emphasised the need to educate parents and guardians to always monitor the movement of their children.

Saulawa  noted  that there was need to engage  traditional rulers  and clerics in sensitizing the public  on the dangers of rape in the society.

Also in her remark, the National President of Interfaith Dialogue, Kaduna Women Wing, Hajiya Aisha Kazaure, expressed worries over increased abuse of children  and women in the society due to lack of commitment in punishing  offenders.

Kazaure called for the review of Nigeria’s laws dealing with issues of child abuses and rape in the society.

She applauded the organisers of the peaceful rally saying, it should be a continuous process.

Meanwhile, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, an interfaith specialist, has called on Civil Society Organisations to embark on advocacy visit to necessary stakeholders in the state to push for review of laws on rape  and sexual abuse

She urged women across the country to join the campaign against all forms of child abuses and domestic violence in their communities.

Tijjani who spoke in an interview with newsmen, stressed the need to co-opt all necessary stakeholders such as UNICEF, WHO, federal and state ministry’s of women affairs, security forces and para-military in the fight.

She said daily report of violence which included sexual assault, battery, rape, defilement, trafficking, forced marriage, abuse and host of other vices against women and children must be tamed.

“There is need for Government to start castrating rapists  so as to make life better for children in both rural and urban centers,” she said.(NAN)

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup host: FIFA confirms submission of 3 bids to Council



The world football governing body, FIFA has confirmed the submission of the three host bids for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to the FIFA Council for the selection of host on June 25.

This is contained in a statement on the federation’s website on Wednesday.

”Following a detailed assessment of the bid books and visits to the bidding countries, today, FIFA confirmed that three bids will be submitted to the FIFA Council in order for it to select the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 host(s) at its meeting to be held online on June 25, 2020.

”The three qualifying bids are: joint submission by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football; submission by the Colombian Football Association and submission by the Japan Football Association, ” the statement read.

“One year after the record-breaking eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the FIFA Council will decide on the host(s) for the ninth edition of the tournament in 2023, which we hope will be even bigger and better.

The quality of the bids is testimony to the tremendous momentum women’s football has generated.

“We are looking forward to building on this to take women’s football to the next level at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Brazilian Football Association had on June 8, informed FIFA of its decision to withdraw its bid.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first edition to feature 32 teams.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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Women group calls for enforcement of stringent laws against rape, GBV



The National President of the group, Mrs Ramatu Aliyu, made the appeal in a visual news conference in Abuja on Monday.

She said that the organisation, out of concern for increase incident of rape cases, had resolved to be a voice for the voiceless females, whose lives had been horrendously cut short by rapists.

Aliyu said international statistics revealed that over half of the total population of women received unwanted sexual attention at some point in their lives.

“The most innocent segment of society have not been spared, as young children are also targeted by the perpetrators of rape, who are devoid of conscience, she said..

Aliyu said that girls suffer sexual exploitation and molestation, adding that the endemic nature of sexual crimes and violence against females was shocking and callous.

” This must be urgently addressed, hence this call to action at every strand of society; including our homes, schools, all levels of government, humanitarian organisations and places of worship.

” We call for stricter laws on rape and violence against women and children. We call for training and investment in resources for law enforcement.

” We call for collective effort in preventing these crimes, as exposing such incidents via word of mouth and all forms of media also go a long way.

” As such, we are publicly declaring our stance against rape and violence against females.

“To this end, we have organised a lecture on rape as part of the various topics to be addressed in our upcoming online marriage seminar slated to hold between June 19 and 20.

” We are also sensitising our members by publishing self-defence techniques to help keep ourselves safe, but these will only go so far so we desperately need robust protection of the government on this matter, ” Aliyu said.

She disclosed that the organisation had established counselling unit dedicated to supporting women in distress with a view to encouraging survivors and families of the demised to seek professional help in dealing with the trauma.

She noted that the crimes not only affect a specific ethnic group, region of the country, religious sect or class of society.

Aliyu, therefore, enjoined all members of the public to show solidarity by condemning the acts openly.

” We all must support victims and survivors rather than insinuate blame of any kind on them, because absolutely nothing can excuse or justify such crimes.

At sisters of Jannah, we are mourning the tragic loss of our member- Azeezat Shomuyiwa, a 27-year-old postgraduate student murdered in her apartment on June 4, despite being seven months pregnant.

” We are also mourning the murder and rape of Barakat Bello, the 18-year-old student recently stabbed and raped in her home.

” Similarly, we are mourning Uwaila Omozuwa, a 23-year-old student, raped and murdered as she studied in a place of worship, and for many more others that have been violently destroyed by heartless perpetrators in our country, ” she said.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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Women group seeks more funding for agriculture



SWOFON’s President, Mary Afan, made the call in a virtual briefing with newsmen.

Afan noted that with the shortage of revenue occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in global price of crude oil, the review was necessary. 

“We also know that increased public investments in critical sectors such as agriculture, are required to lift the binding constraints on the poor and more importantly on women farmers’ productivity.

“This will better position the economy on its path to resurgence from the imminent recession. 

“We are saying, therefore, that reducing the agriculture budget by any margin at all, is the wrong option. 

“Rather, government should undertake a reprioritisation of sectors in a way that involves reprogramming funds to critical sectors such as agriculture,” she said.

Afan said, “We recall the proposal by the executive arm to amend the 2020 federal budget and the cut in the vote of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

“The proposal seeks to reduce the recurrent vote of the Ministry by N721million from N58.686 billion  to N57.964 billion, while the capital vote will be reduced from N124.395 billion to N79.012 billion, being a reduction of N45.382 billion, representing 36 per cent reduction. 

“Overall, the sector will suffer a vote reduction from N183.081 billion to N136.977 billion, a variance of 25 per cent, amounting to N46.104 billion.

“Essentially, from the proposed amendment, agriculture’s vote as a percentage of the overall appropriation will be a paltry 1.3 per cent.

“This is a reduction from the original proposal in the 2020 budget, which was 1.73 per cent of the overall budget.

“In the review and prioritisation of programmes for the 2020 federal budget, it is imperative that the government should not reduce the appropriation to the Ministry of Agriculture.”

She said the reprogrammed funds should be used to meet the various needs of the Smallholder women farmers, whose contributions were critical to food security in the country. 

Afan noted that there should be a review of the COVID-19 intervention fund criteria for women farmers, to be able to access it.

“It should be taken through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, who knows the farmers, especially the Smallholder women farmers. 

“None of the women farmers who are Smallholders across the 36 states have benefitted from the intervention credit facility to cushion the effect of COVID-19 by the government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“We are still hopeful, and so, we will press on till we can access the loans,” she said.

The group advocated the implementation of affirmative action and gender mainstreaming among other demands, to address the challenges facing its members.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
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