Leaders of some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have lauded the Federal Government for appointing Dr Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change.
The CSOs, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, also expressed their delight that the Federal Government considered their calls for the implementation of the Climate Change Act. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in recent weeks the campaigners were persistent in their demands.
The CSOs leaders and participants at a virtual workshop in July, had expressed the need for the federal government to establish the National Council on Climate Change.
Their call was made in order to boost implementation of the Nigeria Climate Change Act, which was signed into law in November 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amid calls by youth groups for the commencement of the law’s implementation, the workshop was followed by the submission of a petition signed by 64 groups to relevant government agencies.
The campaigners, who urged government to immediately implement the climate law, also expressed their dismay over the delay by the government in implementing the core provisions of the Act. However, government took a major decision to signpost the beginning of the implementation of the Climate Change Act with the appointment of Dr. Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Climate Change.
Consequently, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the President of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), said he was delighted that the government has listened to the message sent by leaders of Nigerian CSOs and NGOs to urgently implement the Climate Change Act. Okereke is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi.
Okereke led the Technical Committee set up by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to review the bill.
Also Nnaemeka Oruh, National Coordinator, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Nigeria, lauded what he called coordinated campaign by stakeholders on the matter.
“I would say that the coordinated campaigns by civil society, the media, youth advocates, the international community especially the British High Commission, and of course by the National Assembly especially Rep. Sam Onuigbo, played a critical role in this.
“This is a win for Nigeria and an important step” he said.
Dr Mina Ogbanga of the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI Nigeria), described the development as `a strong step in the right direction’.
Ogbanga acknowledged the step as one that would cascade our climate change ambitions unto actualisation.
She said that “the strategic advocacy of civil societies contributed in no small way to the government taking this step.
“As an organisation, we have continuously called for the implementation of the Climate Change Act as part of Nigeria’s contribution to safeguarding its citizens against the harsh realities of climate change impact.
“It is our hope that the composition of the National Council will meet all best practice standards to accomplish this very strategic step,” she said.
Abdulhamid Hamid, the Chief Executive Officer, Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), said that the call for the government to implement the Climate Change Act “was very effective”.
He said: “We now know that the government is taking it seriously.
Therefore, with this good development on the appointed DG of the Council, we are still expecting for its urgent implementation.
“The Climate Change Act also includes provisions for members of the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, women, youth, and people with disabilities.
“It empowers the Council with significant powers to coordinate national climate actions, administer the newly established Climate Change Fund, mobilise resources to support climate actions, and collaborate with the Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond in meeting Nigeria’s NDC.
“The Climate Change Fund is envisioned as a financing mechanism for prioritised climate actions and interventions.
“The promotion and adoption of nature-based solutions to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate change is encouraged.
“The terms of the agency’s being given funds to start implementing work, and all those involved in the act should be called to be included in the implementation work that will begin as the law provides.
” Similarly, David Terungwa, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), said that the delay in the implementation of the Act was uncalled for.
He said: “While we commend the appointment of the Director General, it is important to state that the long delay in the implementation of the Climate Change Act was not necessary.
“Considering its importance it took a push and campaigns by civil society organisations and other stakeholders before the appointment of the Director General.
“Now that we officially have less than seven years to act to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C), as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement, urgent action is required more than ever before to deal with the increasing risks of climate change across the globe.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill into law in November 2021. The Act reaffirms the federal government’s aim to cut current emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions as early as possible in the second half of the century (net zero target for 2050 to 2070).
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its roll-over strike by another four weeks to give government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.
The President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Osodeke said that the roll-over strike action would take effect from 12:01 a.
m. on Aug. 1. He said that the decision was reached at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of the union held at the Comrade Festus lyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, on July 31. He said that the meeting was called to review developments since NEC’s resolution to extend its roll-over strike action by another 12 weeks, effective from May 9. “The NEC meeting took place against the backdrop of government’s obligations as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with ASUU on Dec. 23, 2020. “Specifically, NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 Agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
“Also government failed to release agreed sum of money for the revitalisation of public universities (Federal and States), address proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, settle promotion arrears, and release withheld salaries of academics.
“Also in the agreement is failure to pay outstanding third-party deductions led to the initial declaration of the roll-over strike on Feb. 14, 2022,” he said.
According to him, NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by the President and Visitor to all Federal Universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks.
Osodeke, however, expressed worry why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.
“NEC acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the union’s principled demand for a globally competitive university education in Nigeria.
“Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best.
“NEC appreciated the historic nationwide protest of July 26th and 27th organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to further create awareness on the antics of the Nigerian ruling class to destroy public education.
“ASUU renews its commitment to the struggles of NLC in championing the cause of the working and suffering Nigerians.
“NEC observed that non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Prof. Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide,” the statement read in part.
The president also said that the on-going trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on allegation of fraud had vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).
According to him, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is enjoined to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) vis-a-vis IPPIS without further delay.
He, therefore, said that the ASUU would resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the union.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the union had been on strike since Feb. 14, over alleged refusal of the government to keep to agreement entered with the union.
The union demands included implementation of the 2009 renegotiation Agreement, deployment of UTAS, payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), promotion arrears, and release withheld salaries of academics.
The Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), on Wednesday sensitised and enlisted the support of community leaders on the implementation of Kaduna State Second Chance Education (SCE) programme.PERL, a governance programme being funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is creating a platform for citizens’ participation in planning and implementation of government programmes.Mr Istifanus Akau, State Partnership Facilitator PERL, said at the one-day consultative dialogue with the community gatekeepers in Kaduna that the goal was to ensure community participation in the implementation of the programme.Akau said that the SCE programme was specifically designed for persons who missed the opportunity to acquire basic education or dropped out from school at any point for various reasons.Akau said that the meeting was organised to sensitise and increase community leaders’ understanding of the SCE Implementation Plan for their active participation.He said that the meeting was also to prepare community leaders to begin identification of out of school children and school dropouts for the SCE programme according to identified clusters.Akau said that the meeting would help participants to develop a simple register for use by the community leaders to capture out of school children and school dropouts in their communities.According to him, the meeting is also to support enrolment drive through campaigns, dialogue, town hall meetings, house-to-house visits, and drama using role models in the community.“We also want to agree on strategies for monitoring the learning centre, teachers’ performance, facilities, safe spaces, and enrolment for the second chance programme.’’The Deputy Director Female Education, Kaduna State Ministry of Education, Mrs Aishatu Mohammed, commended PERL for moblilising community leaders to support implementation of the SCE programme.Mohammed said that community participation, particularly community leaders, the gatekeepers was key to the success of the programme.“The programme is designed for the benefit of community members who have missed the chance to acquire basic education, but the government cannot do this alone.“We need the support of community leaders who will identify the out of school children and school dropouts in their various communities to give them a chance to acquire basic education,” she said.Also speaking, Mr Tijjani Aliyu, Citizens Co-chair, Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism, said that the community leaders have a critical role to play in the education of their community members.Aliyu called on the community gatekeepers to support the process by working with relevant stakeholders in mobilising out of school children in their community including adult dropouts to benefit.Earlier, the State Lead Facilitator, PERL, Mr Adejor Abel explained that PERL supported the development of the SCE Implementation Framework and Advocacy Strategy to ensure the success of the programme.Abel said that PERL, a governance programme, was supporting how governments organised their core business of making and implementation of policies and programmes to deliver quality services to the public.He said that the programme was also linking government with citizens to promote citizens participation in planning and implementation of government programmes.Abel said that PERL would continue to support the provision of platforms for citizens engagement in the governance process to promote transparency and accountability and community ownership of government programmes.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PERL had earlier mobilised the media, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and government partners to build synergy for the implementation of the programme.The programme had so far reached 14 communities in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the state with support from the United Nations Population Fund.About 700 dropped out married adolescent girls had been enrolled for the second chance education programme since inception in 2018 with support from the United Nations Population Fund.A total of 50 dropped out married adolescent girls were enrolled in 2018, additional 50 in 2019 and 600 more between 2020 and 2021.(NAN)
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Anneozeng Ogozi Aid Foundation (AOAF) onFriday empowered 10 indigent women petty-traders in the Federal Capital Territory with cash gifts to supporttheir businesses and improve their standard of living.
The Founder AOAF, Mrs Anneozeng Peters, said that the objective of the empowerment programme called “Let’s TalkCharity COVID-19 Initiative”, was to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic experienced by the women.
Peters said AOAF partnered AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria, an international NGO, for the selection of thewomen from different communities across the FCT where AHF currently has interventions for women.
She said each of the selected women was given N25,000 cash gift to support and expand their petty trades.
She added that “this initiative was birthed to help get indigent women who may have been affected by COVID-19to get back to their businesses and sustain their livelihoods.
“Through this initiative, we have been able to empower a total of 55 amazing and powerful women who are willingto take their businesses to the next level.”
The AOAF founder thanked AHF for the role it played, alongside other support in making the empowerment programmea reality, saying “AHF had remained a mentor in this direction.”
Mr Steve Aborisade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF-Nigeria, said the group always thrived on partnershipwith Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) in supporting their works withgrants, capacity building and mentoring.
Aborisade said the foundation also works toward reaching local communities with various interventions.
According to him, the indigent women selected are from a large pool of women across different communities that the foundationhad worked with in the FCT.
Some of the communities include: Gosa, Gwagwalada, Waru, Alieta, Kuje, among others.
He said “some of the women are bread winners of their families, struggling to meet up with their daily needs through their petty businesses.
“The N25,000 given to each of them will go a long way in their businesses, it may not look big but it is very significant to them.
“The key criteria for their selection is the will to survive in spite of the challenges they face, they believe that they must have somethingdoing like a trade and must have demonstrated the will to multiply wealth.”
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Christiana Onwe who is involved in the business of selling “pure water” and carbonated soft drinks,appreciated AOAF for the support.
She said the money would go a long way in boosting her business and giving her family a better life.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Ramatu Hassan, who is into food business, appreciated the organisation for the kind gesture.
Hassan said the money would help her to expand her business and would help to support her children in school.
Source Credit: NAN
Ten communities of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo barricaded the Lagos-Benin Highway on Wednesday to protest incessant attacks by herdsmen.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) joined in the protest which lasted for several hours and led to a gridlock on the highway.
The communities lamented that the rampaging herdsmen often destroyed their farmlands, evicted them forcefully from their ancestral homes and killed their loved ones.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that protesters came from communities such as Odiguetue, Ofintebe, Igolo, Okokuo, Abumwenre I and Abumwenre II, Obarenren, Uhiere, Uyimo I and Uyimo II to join in the barricade.
Speaking for the communities and for the CSOs, Mr Osagie Obayuwana, a community leader said they were worried about looming crisis brewing in the various communities and orchestrated by armed herdsmen.
He said urgent steps were needed to be put in place to check the activities of the herders before it snowballed into full blown crisis in Edo.
“We want the whole world to know the experience our people have been made to go through for quite some time now.
“We are zeroing in on Ovia North East communities; about 10 communities have been under siege for some time now.
“Farmers have been prevented from going to their farms; another planting season is running out; they have been sentenced to hunger, farmers and their families and this has an implication for the larger society.
“It is one of the reasons the price of food is rising beyond the reach of even those in the middle class.
“So far, we have not seen any serious efforts to address this issue.
“Our people have gone to various relevant government offices to complain, but there had not been any response.
“Right now, the matter is degenerating to an extent that people are being driven out of their villages.
“We don’t want the Benue and Plateau experience where armed herdsmen drive people away from their communities, change the names of the communities and start to occupy the houses to be replicated in Edo.
“We don’t want that,’’ he said.
Mr Osazee Edigin, a representative of Edo State Civil Society Organisations decried the level of insecurity in Edo communities, and noted that it had gone from bad to worse.
“We are here to support these communities that have been ravaged and sacked by herdsmen.
“We have seen the high level of insecurity in the state, and we want the state government and law enforcement agencies to rescue the people.
“We are here to amplify the voices of these locals so that the state government can intervene in this.
“If we don’t do it, we are going to have scarcity of food and more victims.
“We urge government to rise to the occasion and protect lives and property.
“The government should step in. When there is no peace in the land, life will not flourish and the economy will go down,’’ he said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr James Chu, addressed the protesters and appealed for calm assuring that efforts were being made to address the situation.
Chu represented the Commissioner of Police in Edo, Mr Abutu Yaro, to calm the protesters.
“Machineries have been put in place to curtail the excesses of armed herdsmen in the various communities in the state.
“The commissioner of police shares with you in this pain. We are all on the same page and that is the reason I am here to talk to you.
“There are critical strategies that are in place to ensure that the excesses of these herdsmen, disturbing our villages are monitored and equally checked and stopped.
“I assure you that the police are not resting on this issue. We shall work hands- in-gloves with the communities to ensure the essence of this gathering,’’ Chu said.
Source Credit: NAN
The Women Mentoring and Leadership Initiative (WOMFOI), has honoured the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), for supporting women participation in politics in Kaduna State.
PERL is a United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s funded governance programme, working to strengthen governance systems and improved citizens’ engagement in governance processes.
The President of the group, Mrs Florence Aya, presented the Golden Service and Development Award of Excellence to PERL in Kaduna on Wednesday, during a meeting with citizens group, women, and the media.
The meeting was organised by PERL to mobilise citizens’ groups, women, and the media to set agenda for the 2023 general elections.
Aya said that the award was in recognition and appreciation of PERL’s exemplary support and dedication toward the growth and development of WOMFOI.
She said that PERL’s support had built the confidence of women in politics as well as women capacity on how to effectively engage the political process.
According to her, PERL has mentored the women group on how to aspire for any political office, how to write a manifesto, how to source for funds, and how to mobilise support.
“PERL equally trained us on effective advocacy, public speaking and how to use the media to create the needed publicity and awareness for constituency mobilisation.
“We are recognising our amazons and PERL is one of them because the governance programme has supported us right from inception to date.
“PERL has been providing technical support and advice to our group and up till now, PERL is in the business of supporting women Mentoring and Leadership Initiatives.
“We are giving PERL this award to show our appreciation forall the technical and mentorship support it provided us that has brought us thus far,” she said.
Aya said that the vision of WOMFOI was to create a sustainable platform that would prepare women for responsible and effective leadership and empower them to aspire to any leadership position.
Responding, Mr Adejor Abel, PERL’s State Team Facilitator, who received the award, thanked the women group for the recognition, describing it as a “true honour”.
“We really appreciate this recognition of our work with women groups in Kaduna State to help them to effectively engage the political process and vie for electoral and appointive positions.
“PERL will continue to mobilise women to participate fully in the political space for their voices to be heard and participate in the decision-making process in the state,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (LGAM), a transparency, and accountability platform for local governance also presented an award to PERL recently.
The award, according to the group, is to appreciate PERL’s support for local government reforms and establishment of LGAM in 23 local government areas of the state.
The ward was also in recognition of the immense contributions of PERL in building the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to engage the governance process, ensure good governance and quality service delivery. (NAN) (
Source Credit: NAN
The European-funded Project A-TIPSOM Nigeria has commenced the training of some security personnel and members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the use of social media Apps to tackle human trafficking.The two-day training was organised by A-TIPSOM, in collaboration with the International and Ibero American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy, using social media handles, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.The participants included CSOs, the Police, Immigration and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons drawn from the five South-East states of Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Imo and Abia.Speaking at the training in Enugu on Wednesday, the Team Leader of A-TIPSOM, Mr Raphael Molina, said the exercise was part of their action against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants into Nigeria.Molina, represented by A-TIPSOM Communication Officer, Mrs Josephine Osuigwe, said the training became necessary as traffickers had developed technological means of recruiting and controlling their victims through online platforms. According to him, recruiting victims online is now less risky than recruiting victims in person.“Sometimes, when victims are recruited through social media sites, they never meet the traffickers in person,” he said. Molina said that deploying the social media as tools to fight the scourge and smuggling of migrants would yield huge result, if participants adopted it in their fight.He further said that the event was part of the organisation’s activities organised to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).“The programme, which coincided with the IWD, focused on how trafficking in persons affected women who are vulnerable to it,” he said.He said that women being caregivers in homes have a great role to play to ensure that children are brought up in the right way to avoid incidences of trafficking.Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, the National President, Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), said he attended the event to support the members in the zone on their advocacy and community engagement. He said that 33 members of NACTAL from the zone converged on Enugu to train on how to use social media to counter the criminal act.Abubakar, who said the training would be of great benefit to their members, urged traditional and religious leaders to support the fight against human trafficking in the country.The Leader, Youth Child Support Initiative, Mrs Ijeoma Nnaji, said women had enormous work to do at home to ensure that children were trained the way they should.Nnaji urged the participants to use their various groups to sensitise others, especially at the community level, on the danger of human trafficking.“Due to ignorance, many rural women give their kids out without knowing where they are being taken to and the work they do,” she said.She commended the organisers of the training for doing a great job. A police officer from Ebonyi Command, Mr James Chibuko, said the police always support the campaign against trafficking in persons.“It is only the Judases among us that often soil the police image by aiding and abeting the crime,” Chibuko said. (NAN)
By Franca Ofili
Mr Temitayo Orebajo, Director, Tax Policy and Advisory Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says all Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are expected to register for tax purposes and obtain Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
Orebajo said this in Abuja on Thursday at a webinar on CSOs tax responsibilities and compliance.
He said the webinar was aimed to promote CSOs understanding and knowledge of their tax responsibilities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar was organised by FIRS and the European Union Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (EU-ACT), a Non-Governmental Organisation.
The webinar is to provide an opportunity for CSOs to engage the FIRS on parts of tax regulations that concern them, and the challenges and bottlenecks they face in their bid to stay compliant.
Orebajo said that the CSOs were statutorily required to maintain accurate record of employees, proper books of accounts for tax purposes.
He said that failure to comply would attract appropriate penalties under the extant tax laws.
Orebajo said that VAT on goods purchased by NGOs for use in humanitarian donor funded projects was at zero rate under the value added tax.
“The NGO itself is not exempted from VAT where the organisation procures contracts or purchases goods that are not directly used in humanitarian donor funded projects.
“Likewise, any service procured or consumed by NGO is liable to VAT, except where such service is exempted under the VATN Act,” he said.
Orebajo said that NGOs were required under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) obligation to deduct tax at source from salaries and other emolument of the employees, directors, officers among other.
According to him, the obligations under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) in section 25 of CITA provides tax relief to any company making donations to an organization listed under the fifth schedule to CITA.
He said that such donation must be made out of its profits for the year of assessment and total donation shall not exceed 10 per cent of the total profits of the company for the said year of assessment.
“Donation is not of capital nature, except where the donations are made to universities or other tertiary or research institutions and should not exceed 15 per cent of total profits or 25 per cent of tax payable.
“NGOs requiring to be listed under the fifth schedule to CITA may apply to the Minister of Fice through FIRS,’’ Orebajo said.
He advised the organisations to see the important of returns to the government because most of them take payment to government for granted.
Mrs Nneka Esomeju, of Joint Tax Board, said that the rule of minimum wage was exempted from tax but added that corps members are to pay tax when other things are added. (www.)