Save the Children International (SCI), an NGO, has begun mobilizing media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to support in strengthening social protection systems in Kaduna State.
SCI’s Social Protection and Inclusion Coordinator in the state, Mrs Eunice Victor who stated this during a meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, said that the move was to hold government to account on social protection.
She explained that the meeting was part of series of meetings to be held with a view to establishing a coalition on social protection to be made up of the media and CSOs.
The aim of this event is to serve as a planning meeting where ideas will be pooled and map out relevant stakeholders in the CSO and media space that will form a coalition.
The coalition will serve as pressure group in amplifying the voice of citizens for an accountable and responsive government on social protection issues,“ she said.
Victor explained that Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP) phase I, implemented in Zamfara and Jigawa states demonstrated how to achieve impact on nutritional status and long-term future potential of children.
The coordinator said that following the successes of the phase I, the CDGP Phase II had been extended to include Kaduna and Kano states, with focus on strengthening social protection systems.
According to her, the system and capacity strengthening of federal and states institution will contribute to greater coverage of inclusive and accountable social protection in the country.
The ultimate aim is to ensure the existence of an enabling environment, strong systems and adequate capacity for the scale up of social protection in the country.
This will contribute to poverty reduction efforts and simultaneously improve the ability, opportunity and dignity of the poor and vulnerable.
But all this will not be possible without the media and CSOs to advocate and hold government to account,“ she said.
Mr Farouk Abdulkadir, SCI Advocacy and Communication Coordinator, said that the coalition, when established, would among other things sensitize and support the set up of policy framework for the implementation of social protection programmes.
They will also generate and communicate evidence in form of advocacy messages or scorecards to raise awareness and action on social protection.
“They will equally be engaging relevant ministries, departments and agencies to detect and provide support for smooth implementation of social protection programmes in the state,“he said.
Edited by: Shuaib Sadiq/Tukur Muntari.
Gov Bagudu, stakeholders meet over flood, insecurity, vow to surmount challenges
The Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, says the state government will liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure formidable support on assisting flood victims in the state.
The governor stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the menace of flooding and insecurity which occurred in some parts of the state organized by the state government, on Saturday in Birnin Kebbi.
He said that plausible arrangements were ongoing to commence dry season farming in order to augment the colossal losses caused by devastating flood disasters in the state.
Bagudu decried that the 2020 flood and rainfall had greatly surpassed the earlier predictions by the National Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and other related weather prediction agencies.
“The unprecedented flood disasters have regretably resulted in the massive losses of farmlands, houses and other infrastructure across the state.
“The rapid responses by the State and Federal Governments, as well as their agencies, have remarkably mitigated the negative impact of the rampaging flood disasters,’’ he said.
Bagudu also expressed gratitude over the assistance to the victims from well-meaning individuals like the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, and business mogul, Abdussamad Isyaku Rabiu, among others.
On Insecurity, the governor lamented that the state, which was still one of the most peaceful states in the country, was now witnessing some pockets of threats against lives and properties of innocent citizens, especially in Zuru Emirate.
He said that indigenes of the state who were hitherto engaged in farming activities in parts of Dansadau area of Zamfara State had returned to the state, and were mostly resident in Zuru emirate.
“They came back with tales of woes and this ugly situation led to the springing up of self=help security groups , ‘’ `Yan Sakai,’ apparently in self defense or revenge.
“This obnoxious situation aggravated the security situation. For instance, recently, the District Head of Bajida was brutally murderered.
“Also, just yesterday, when a meeting was going on to select his replacement, a group of ‘Yan Sakai’ stormed the meeting, uninvited and threatened to kill everybody if their nominee was not selected,” he lamented.
The governor also warned communities in the state against taking the laws into their hands, as well as creating militias.
He pledged to sustain the feat achieved by the state of being the hub of food production in the country, adding that, “it is one of the most peaceful states in the country”.
Stakeholders at the meeting included the emirs, religious leaders, politicians, women and youth groups, as well as NGOs and Civil Society Organisations.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Edo 2020: Group commends INEC on equal access for PWDs
Mr David Anyaele, the Chairman of the group, said this on Saturday in its preliminary statement on the conduct of the election.
Anyaele however, said that although priority voting was given to the PWDs, the elderly and pregnant women, other disability support aids where missing at polling units which hindered full participation of the PWDs.
“EVA4PWDs is impressed to observe that marginalised sects such as the aged, nursing mothers and pregnant women and PWDs generally were offered priority voting in most of the polling units observed.
“However, we are disappointed that INEC displayed minimal commitment to the implementation of the framework on access and participation of PWDs in the electoral process, as provided in the National Disability Act, 2018.
“The promised Braille voters’ guide and Braille ballot paper by INEC for easy access of election day instructions, guidelines and ballot paper for Blind voters were scarcely available.
“Where it was available, many INEC ad hoc staff did not understand its usage but got assistance from observers on how to use the Braille materials.
“This was the case in Polling Unit 003, Car Park Ward 1, Oredo LGA, where an observer assisted in locating the Braille material.
“There was absence of magnified lens at the Polling Units, INEC ad hoc staff who claimed to have at some polling units were unable to neither display it for observation and usage,” he said.
An Observer said that other observers reported that the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as Election Day instructions and guidelines to assist the deaf or persons with hearing impairment were also unavailable at majority of the PU’s visited.
Anyaele also said that reports showed that a large numbers of the PUs were not accessible to physically-challenged persons as they were sited at buildings without ramps and handrail, across gutters, and over staircases.
He noted that INEC Covid-19 guidelines were not adhered to in majority of the Polling Units visited due to uncontrolled large crowds.
“We have reports from areas like Greater Tomorrow High School, Oredo Ward 1, Ramat Park at Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo LGA, among other Polling Units, where the crowds were uncontrollably large,” he said.
Anyaele, however, urged INEC to address the major barriers identified in the Edo elections and make necessary provisions ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Oct. 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group, in collaboration with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), an NGO, trained and deployed INEC accredited observers to the three senatorial zones of the Edo State.
The observers focused on equal voting access for persons with disabilities and monitored the provisions made by INEC for PWDs. .
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Environmental advocates call for total ban of plastics
Some environmental advocates have called on the Federal and State Governments to find alternative and innovative ways of ridding the environment of plastic wastes.
The advocates made the call during a clean up exercise at the Bonny Cantonment, Victoria Island on Saturday in Lagos.
The exercise was carried out to commemorate the International Coastal Clean up Day marked annually on every third Saturday in the month of September.
One of the advocates, Dr Leslie Adogame, Executive Director, Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), called for the ban of single use plastics in the country.
“The government has to take bold steps to ban single use plastics and replace them with alternatives.
“We can no longer continue to die when we are alive by ingesting microplastics; corporate entities must have a paradigm shift away from plastics.
“This is not a sustainable way; plastic is not part of our system, because it is injurious to life, health and all life chain of this world, ” he said.
Also, the founder, Beach Samaritans, an NGO, Ms Adesola Alamutu, urged people to be part of the solution by consciously taking a reusable bag when they go out shopping.
Alamutu said: “One of the things I believe people can do is, when they go shopping and are offered plastic bags, they should refuse.
“The more the people who refuse, the less the plastic bags being used and thrown away.
“Also, the government needs to do a lot of enlightenment, especially in the major languages to educate people on the need to carry their bags when going out.
“Government should also ensure people are charged for the plastic bags; that way, people may be discouraged from using it.”
Also, the Founder, Kids Beach Garden, an NGO, Ms Doyinsola Ogunye, said a lot of awareness creation should begin from homes, schools, religious institutions.
Ogunye said also that people need to be consistent and continue to do things to protect the environment in their own little spaces for as long as possible.
“We have young children and we need to let them know that plastic wastes littered everywhere and in our water ways is not the kind o environment to grow up, ” she said.
Also, Mr Omotola Soares, Secretary to the Local Government, Eti-Osa, Imoyi, Obalende Local Community Development Area, urged people to support the government by being responsible.
Soares said that the government had carried out a lot of programmes to ensure the environment was clean.
“The government cannot do it alone; we all need to work together and take responsibility of our environment, because the environment defines who we are, ” he said.
In his remarks, the Director, Media and Online Visibility, Humanity Nigeria, an NGO, Mr Akinola Onanuga said the organisation would be carrying out an enlightening programme from Nov. 24 on dangers of plastics.
He said: “We are bringing up the Earth Festival in order to rid the environment of plastics and enlighten people that these plastics can be recycled and made into wealth instead of throwing it away and causing harm.”
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Lawyer advocates leadership training for youths
An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, has advocated the need for the training of youths on leadership skills to help reposition Nigeria’s future.
Ahmed, who spoke in Ilorin on Saturday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , agreed that youth’s development remain critic in nation building.
He said it has become necessary for Nigeria youths to be equipped with leadership skills in order to do things differently from the past.
“Bad leadership in the past has put Nigeria in a serious mess. Our youths should be shown the way to manage the God’s given abundant resources at hand.
“Nigeria is blessed, but we have people in the past, who lacked those leadership skills in the corridors of power.
“With proper orientation and leadership training for the youths, we can get it right and place the country on the right path.
“We cannot afford to make the same mistakes of our past leaders. We cannot claim to be giant of Africa and see our people dying of hunger and poverty,”he said.
The legal practitioner however called on NGOs and the three tiers of governments to ensure leadership training were organised for the youths.
He advised that the future of the country is at stake if the youths are left out and not well prepared and equipped for leadership position.
“We cannot allow the youths to emulate the past trend. We want them to do things differently and safe the future of the country,”he said.
He also advised Nigerian leaders to stop being selfish, show love and care for the people for them to be proud of their country.