The UN in Nigeria says no fewer than 70 per cent of people in Katsina State live below the poverty line.
Mr Mathias Schmale, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, made this known when he visited Gov. Aminu Masari on Monday in Katsina.
‘I said to my colleagues that I want to get first hand information so that people will not bamboozle me with statistics and arguments.
I can say I have seen it myself.
”We understand that poverty, insecurity and lack of knowledge are also key factors that are contributing to malnutrition among children in the state.
“At our next meeting of the humanitarian country team this coming Wednesday, we will discuss humanitarian issues in the rest of the country, not just in the north east,”he said.
Schimale said that Masari has visited the UN house on several occasions to show concerns over his people and elegantly made case for better support for the state.
”We have not forgotten his efforts.
I have been made to understand that Katsina has a very rich history in culture.
“What I have understood so far is a couple of things, one is that it seems there is a nutrition crisis all over Nigeria, including Katsina.
“What I have been educated on today, is the drivers of this crisis in your state are a mixture of three factors, one is insecurity, another one is poverty.
“And thirdly, in some places there also seems to be a lack of knowledge, and so, education should be part of it.
That’s w he said.
Responding, Masari also attributed the malnutrition crisis to some cultural issues.
”The same problem is happening in most of the northern states.
A family of 10 some 20 years back, had only one hectare of land for cultivation.
But because of culture, this family in 10 years can become a family of 100, living on the same source.
“The question is how can we address the issue in a fundamental way?
The main driver of poverty is lack of education and skills.
“The intervention we need in order to address poverty has to do with education that would give people knowledge and the skills so that production can rise, and people can look after themselves,” Masari said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report (2012), indicated that Sokoto State has estimated poverty rate of 87.73. The NBS said Taraba is second with poverty rate of 87.72 followed by Jigawa with 87.2 per cent.
The report showed that Katsina is number 10 with a poverty rate of 56.42 per cent.
Mr Mathias Schmale, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, says the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends on availability of fundamental data on population size and growth.
The information is in a statement issued by the Media Associate of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria, Hajiya Kori Habib in Abuja on Friday.
Habib stated that Schmale made the remark during Partners Meeting on the 2023 Population and Housing Census and official launch of the Census Development Partners Forum in Abuja.
The media associate added that the resident coordinator was represented at the meeting by Ms Ulla Mueller, the Resident Representative of UNFPA Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigeria is getting ready for a housing and population census in April 2023 being coordinated by National Population Commission (NPC), the UNFPA in Nigeria and partners, 17 years after the last census held in 2006.She quoted the UN official as saying “the fact that this census is the first digital census in Nigeria, a census that uses various innovative approaches, technologies and software, makes the theme of today’s meeting — Supporting a Transformational Census Process in Nigeria — very appropriate.
“This is indeed a census that will be transformative for Nigeria.
”Schmale said that the ongoing 2023 census process undertaken by the Federal Government would play a vital role in producing official statistics and fundamental information for measuring progress toward the SDGs indicators in Nigeria and beyond.
He added that the attainment of the UN SDGs also depends on the country’s data of population distribution and their characteristics.
He, therefore, called for technical and financial support from partners “to sustain the country’s efforts toward conducting a much-needed and asked for census.
“A census that will make data available for evidence-based programming and policy making, improve the understanding of population dynamics and inform socio-economic development initiatives.
“The information will be useful for present and future governments of Nigeria and for the international community and for tracking progress towards the SDGs.”He reiterated the commitment of the UN to support development efforts and building a Nigeria where no one is left behind.
Mr Clement Agba, Minister of Budget and National Planning, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to the promotion of women and girls’ rights.
Agba made the pledge on Tuesday at the official launch of the “Promote My Sister” campaign by UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Abuja.
The campaign is a call to action by the UNFPA aimed at protecting girls and women while supporting them to achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Agba said that Nigeria, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, would not relent in addressing the menace of Gender-Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation in the country.
Mr Mathias Schmale, UN Resident Coordinator, said that the UN was working to improve the lives of women and girls while aiming at empowering them.
Schmale called for commitment to a future where women and girls would be safe and live their lives to the fullest.
According to him, women need to occupy prime positions across the globe.
He commended Nigerian women whom he said were exceling around the world, citing the likes of Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
On her part, Ms Ulla Mueller, Country Representative, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said that the essence of the campaign was for girls and women to protect each other.
Mueller, who expressed hope for brighter and better future for women and girls, said that women should be supported to make choices about their reproductive rights.
Meanwhile, Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, commended UNFPA for the launch, saying that it was apt and timely in view of the rising wave of Gender-based violence.
Tallen was represented by Dr Asabe Bashir, Director General National Centre for Women Development.
The minister called for an end to male preference in families and situations where girls were not encouraged to go to school.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says residents of the state consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily just as he reiterated commitment to food security.
Sanwo-Olu said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day zonal sensitisation workshop with the theme: “Implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria 2022,” on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Lagos Ministry of Economic, Planning and Budget.
NAN reports that Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti are participating with a Lagos as coordinating state for Southwest goepolitical zone.
The governor represented by Mr Sam Egube, Commissioner for Economic, Planning and Budget, said that the state had decided to take the bull by the horn in guaranteeing food security for people with different agricultural and food value chain.
According to him, Lagos has a rich history of economic growth and transformation.
“Although it covers only 0.4 per cent of Nigeria’s territorial land mass making it the smallest in the country.
“It accounts for over 60 per cent of industrial and commercial activities. Lagos is a coastal state and has an extremely limited arable land space and home to about 21 million people.
“Its residents consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily and 50 per cent of beef produced in the country running into several billions in other trading activities with markets cutting across all the local government areas in the state,” he said.
He called for joint collaboration among Southwest goepolitical zone to implement the Food Systems Transformation Pathways 2022.
Sanwo-Olu added that improving the food systems would influence positive changes and as well address multiple challenges being experienced in the country.
He said that the state agric roadmap was a deliberate effort to develop the agricultural sector by way of interventions from the public and private sector, international technical and donor organisations.
“I am aware that the need for states across the six geopolitical zones to be adequately sensitised on the implementation of the National Food Systems Transformation Pathways is the basis for this workshop.
“It gives me great pleasure to note that Lagos State was selected to host the South West geopolitical sensitisation which I consider as an acknowledgement of the positive impacts our policies and efforts are making in the agricultural sector.
“As a state government, we will continue to provide infrastructure and incentives to support all private sector initiatives where required.
“History has shown that any society that is unable to provide food guarantee, its security is open to abuse and utmost danger,” he said.
The governor commended the efforts of the Federal Government on its unrelenting efforts to ensure that the food systems summit in conjunction with the United Nations is developed.
“I assure you that the Lagos State Government is fully committed to achieving a food secured Lagos and Nigeria through partnership with all national and sub-national entities as well as private sector and international technical and donor organisations.
He urged all participants at the workshop to show commitment by sharing ideas and opinions on the selected programmes slated to kick-start implementation.
Mr Mathias Schmale, the Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations, commended the Federal Government for its consistent efforts toward sustainable food systems in the country.
Schmale who was represented by Mr Isiaka Ibrahim, UN Coordinator in Lagos, reiterated that the UN would continue to work with government and as well strengthen collaborations with all stakeholders in support of this transformational journey.
“Today marks another important step in the highly anticipated transformational change we have worked for in partnership.
“The zonal sensitisation workshop is designed to onboard all of us as we begin to bring synergy across states and regions.
“The momentum at which the Federal Government is accelerating the national food systems transformation pathways is highly commendable.
“Today, the government has identified three critical priority actions to be addressed at all levels to achieve food security and reduce malnutrition among the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in Nigeria.
“They are to achieve a sustainable food system that works for all; to ensure the achievement of all SDGs in the next decade.
Mrs Olusola Idowu, the National Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said an implementation team made up of key stakeholders had been constituted to develop an implementation plan.
Idowu noted that the workshop provides an opportunity to present and discuss the identified priority actions selected for implementation from January 2022.
She added that it would help to define and assign roles and responsibilities for effective implementation of the priority actions.
Idowu noted that the workshop was being held in all the six geopolitical zones concurrently from July 4 to 8, focusing on three low hanging fruit programmes and 80 priority actions.
“Please, I make this passionate appeal that we all ensure that this implementation stage is truly for implementation.
“Wherein, we do less talk and more action so that we can impact lives of Nigerians,” she said.
M. Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, said that food systems remained an important part of the national economy.
Olusanya said that effective food system had contributed to a variety of solutions to developmental challenges.
She said that there had been dialogues amongst all relevant stakeholders across the six geopolitical zones of the country since 2021 which gave birth to the National Pathways for Sustainable Food Systems.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on
Wednesday handed over its multipurpose community centre to Adamawa Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the centre, built in Malkohi community in Yola-South Local Government Area, is
to strengthen the protection of women and girls from Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The IOM Chief of Mission, Prestage Murima, while handing over the centre, said that the building was funded by the Republic of Korea.
According to her, IOM has been supporting the government of Nigeria through the provision of humanitarian assistant in the North East since 2014.
She added that “no fewer than 400 people patronise the centre daily to acquire skills for livelihood.
“The Adamawa Government is capable of taking over the centre for the benefit of people in the area and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”
Mr Mathias Schmale, the Resident Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, Nigeria, commended Adamawa Government for providing land
and enabling environment for the project.
He congratulated partners for the centre and urged the government to ensure that the centre served its purpose.
He added that the centre could serve as venue for large community meetings, impact skills for livelihood and to look after
survivors of GBV, among others.
In his remarks, Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri commended the IOM for the humanitarian support.
Fintiri, who was represented by Mr Elias Tumba, the Commissioner, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement,
said that the centre came at the right time.
According to him, it will complement government efforts in responding to the needs of people affected by several humanitarian conditions.
Fintiri said that the state government would mobilise more resources to ensure continuity of the centre and replicate same
in some local government areas where there is need.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday called for action against all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria and around the world.
The Fund’s Country Representative, Ms Ulla Mueller, said it was time to end human rights violations against women and girls.
Mueller made the call at the official launch of “Call to Action”, on protection from Gender-Based Violence Emergencies in Abuja.
She recalled the gory experiences of women and girls as a result of their vulnerability and called for an end to it.
She said “my entire life, I have witnessed daughters, mothers, sisters, friends whose human rights were violated.
“Women and girls who denied the right to protection, the right to justice.”
The UN official, who recalled that the call to action was established in 2013, added that much needed to be done to end GBV.
Mr Mathias Schmale, the UN Resident Coordinator, expressed the commitment of the UN system to assist Nigeria to end GBV.
Schmale affirmed the determination of the UN to continue supporting Nigeria’s judicial process aimed at holding perpetrators accountable.
He said “UN is here to support government in ending Gender Based Violence.
“Our commitment at the UN is to support the leadership of the country in showing leadership.”
He dismissed calls for capital punishment as a way of addressing GBV, saying that the UN globally stood against capital punishment.
“The UN has a worldwide position against capital punishment for many reasons.
“We must ensure justice for survivors, we are not for capital punishment but for clear justice.”
Mr Sune Krogstrup, Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, reassured his country’s support for Nigeria in ending GBV.
Krogstrup, who described women and girls as vulnerable persons, said “protecting them is imperative.
“We know that women and girls are vulnerable in conflicts, they need protection and they need special attention.”
Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, had pledged Nigeria’s commitment to ending the menace.
She said “we all know that women and girls are vulnerable, with your commitment and support, I see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Tallen, who described “the Call to Action,” as accountability, assured of addressing all the cases of GBV through the judicial process.
She added that “Call to Action is about accountability, we will ensure that cases before us are addressed.”