The Victims Support Fund (VSF) on COVID-19 has begun the third phase of distribution of food items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth N853.5 million in seven North West and North Central states.
Mrs Toyosi Ogunsiji, Chairperson of VSF Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this on Monday in Minna, while donating the items worth N107.9 million to the Niger state Government.
“The total cost of the third phase of the VSF taskforce for COVID-19 support to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the most vulnerable and government is N853.5million,” she said.
Ogunsiji listed the food items to include rice, beans, maize, vegetable oil and salt, while the PPE include standard surgical face mask, reusable face mask, hazard suit, googles, boots, latex gloves and hand sanitiser.
She said that the items would be distributed to the seven states of Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Plateau, Benue and Niger.
She said Kano state got items worth over N110.4 million, Kaduna N130.3million, Zamfara, N107.9 million, Katsina N97.16 million, Benue N107.9million, Niger 107.9 million and Plateau N119.8 million.
According to her, the group also donated rice, beans, maize, vegetable oil, salt, face mask, hand sanitiser, hygiene kits and blankets worth N36 million to the National Commission for Refugees Migrants, Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS).
“The task force is working closely with the Federal and State Government Agencies involved in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic through collaboration with the NCFRMI to target IDP’s, refugees and the NCWS for the vulnerable women,” she said.
Ogunsiji said the task force would distribute the food items and PPE to 40,886 households which amounts to reaching 204,330 direct beneficiaries in the seven states.
She explained that the state governments would receive 50 per cent of the food items and PPE while the balance of 50 per cent would be distributed by the local Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) directly to IDP’s and vulnerable people.
Responding, Gov. Abubakar Bello f Niger, said that the items would go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of indegent persons in the state.
Bello, represented by Mr Ibrahim Ebbo, his Special Adviser on Special Duties, said that the Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in the state would ensure transparent and judicious distribution of the items.
He appealed for more assistance in the area of flooding affecting rural dwellers and farmers affected by banditry.
Edited By: Chidi Opara/Ismail Abdulaziz
Council prays that Okonjo-Iweala be WTO declared DG
Abuja, Nov. 2, 2020 The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called for continuous prayers for the final declaration of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the 7th Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
On Oct. 28, the General Council of the WTO declared Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the best suited candidate to occupy the position, but the United States of America challenged the declaration and said it would continue to support the next candidate in line, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Yoo Myung-hee.
Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance got the endorsement of 106 countries including the European Union and ECOWAS as the preferred candidate for the position.
Following the United States of America’s objection, a follow-up meeting of the Council was slated for Nov. 9 for a final decision to be made.
National President of NCWS, Mrs Laraba Shoda, said in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja that “our prayer is that come, Nov. 9, Okonjo-Iweala will be declared the consensus director-general of the WTO.
“This will make her the first African and the first woman to occupy the position.
“Undoubtedly, Okonjo-Iweala is a shining light and a beam of hope to Nigerian women, African women and to women all around the globe.’’
Shoda called on Nigerian women, African women and women all around the world to continue to pray for Okonjo-Iweala as her victory would not only be for her, but for the entire womenfolk.
Edited By: Alli Hakeem
The National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), on Monday called on the Federal Government to heed to the voice of the youths and open up negotiations on their concerns about Nigeria.
Mrs Gloria Shoda, National President of NCWS made the call in a statement in Abuja.
”We have watched closely over the past couple of days and seen the intense yearnings of our youth across the nation, for reforms of the Nigerian Police Force.
”As mothers, the NCWS cannot stay as silent onlookers. We are all aware of the numerous incidents of loss of lives during alleged encounters with some law enforcement and security agents on our roads.
”Many youths over the years, have met their untimely deaths in controversial circumstances.
”In recent days, our youth have shown incredible resilience and sincerity in their calls for disbandment of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and overall institutional reforms of the Nigerian Police,” she said.
Shoda said the coming days would be critical and called on Federal and State governments to explore ways of opening discussions to understand more on what the youths think about the future of the country.
”We are aware that one of the consistent calls from the protesters is the investigation into the complaints about allegations of extra-judicial killings and violations of human rights in general.
”It is clear however, that the protests have now gone beyond the End SARS issue.
”Government has directed the setting up of state-based judicial panels of inquiry on the protest.
”All States and FCT have high numbers of unemployed youths who have graduated from tertiary institutions but remain in the labour market long after leaving schools.
“These and several other socio-economic issues are part of the frustrations of the youth,” Shoda said.
She urged the youth to stay peaceful and orderly in their marches and candle-light processions, as they continue to seek the ear of government on their demands for reforms in the country.
”The Council which is the umbrella organisation of all women’s groups and associations has hope that Nigeria’s youth demography will surely become a dividend for the benefit of the country,” she said.
She also pleaded with the youths to also give government the space to redress the inadequacies.
Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu
The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), on Monday advised women in Jigawa to collaborate with the state government to address gender related issues.
The national president said she was happy to inaugurate the new executive body that would carry out the actives of the council and show its presence in Jigawa.
“In the last10 years, we have been struggling to bring Jigawa into NCWS; it has not been easy, but I thank God that we have been able to achieve this today.
“We have this group of women that have been working very hard to ensure that whatever the NCWS national was doing they taxed themselves to come to attend our programmes.
“But this time around, they have taxed themselves to come for their inauguration after a successful election
“Since they have been chosen by their people to represent them as NCWS executives in the state, we decided to support them by allowing them to come to Abuja for their inauguration,’’ she said.
Shoda noted that Jigawa State had been “left behind since the inception of NCWS in 1956’’.
She advised the newly inaugurated executives to collaborate with the state government and other agencies of government to sensitise women on gender issues.
“I want them to go back to their state to make a difference to show that NCWS has representation in the state; commence advocacy programmes; work with the government of the state to ensure that their programmes and policies are actualised.
“They should visit displaced people’s camps if they have, motherless babies’ homes, bring together women, organise programmes against early marriages; attend to women with special needs and campaign against the causes of Vesico Vaginal Fistula.
“They should also embark on sensitization programmes on health for women and girls and sensitise the girl child and their parents on the need to acquire formal education,’’ she stressed.
Shoda also advised the executives to work with the governor’s wife, who automatically becomes the patron and also with commissioner for women affairs to improve on the lives of women in the state.
In her remarks, the chairperson, Binta Mohammed, said the inauguration would assist the executives championing the right of women in the state.
“What motivated us to come from Jigawa to Abuja for this inauguration is so that we can correct the abnormalities in the system.
“Our women are left behind. We are left behind in education and health, so we need awareness creation. With the inauguration, we are going to work very hard to ensure that we impact in the lives of our women.
“We want changes for the betterment and improvement of the lives of our women. We are going to encourage Jigawa women to come out to fight for their right and take part in politics ahead of the 2023 general elections,’’ she said.
Edited By: Alli Hakeem
[email protected]: NCWS wants govt. to sign 35% affirmative action into law
Abuja, Oct. 1, 2020 The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on the Federal Government to sign into law the 35 per cent affirmative action, where women representation in power and decision making will be enhanced as Nigeria marks 60 years of independence.
The President of NCWS, Mrs Laraba Shoda, made the call in her independence message to Nigerians to commemorate the country’s diamond jubilee celebrations.
Shoda said the signing of the affirmative action into law would be the best gift from the government to Nigerian women.
She recalled that 25 years after the 1995 Beijing women conference, Nigerian women have continued to struggle for space in all spheres of life.
According to her, women are educated, trained and knowledgeable as the men, and can do well in governance if given the opportunity.
She added that “as the country marks its 60th independence, the way forward is for government to make sure that the 35 per cent affirmative action that women have been asking for is passed into law.
“Lets sign the affirmative action into law to reduce the struggle between the genders. We are not saying that women should just be picked from the streets, women who are well qualified should be allowed to seek offices or contest for the 35 per cent slot.
“If government wants to appoint 100 ministers, we are saying that 35 per cent should be set aside for women, so that the men will know that this is no go area for them.
“In some African counties, there are ministries and offices that are specifically set aside for women and I think we can also achieve this in Nigeria.
“We appeal to the men not to feel that equal rights means taking over their rightful roles as heads of the homes. We just want to have equal opportunities; we want equity. If women are given the chance, they will do well.”
Shoda noted that since independence, Nigerian women had continued to struggle, adding that Nigeria was nowhere near half of the Beijing resolution.
She said that doors have been locked against women in Nigeria, hence the need for the signing of the affirmative action into law to ease the struggle for the women.
Shoda, however, urged Nigerian women to continue the struggle while urging them to come together in unity to ensure that the aims of the struggle were achieved.
She commended the governors of Kwara and Lagos and others who gave space to the women in their respective governments and urged others to do same.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
The National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) has called for prayers, especially among women, for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to win her bid to be elected as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday quoted Mrs Laraba Shoda, NCWS President, as pleading with all Nigerians to support Okonjo-Iweala’s aspiration and seek divine intervention for victory.
It described the former finance minister as “an industrious mother, wife and daughter of Nigeria who needs every support and prayers at this time”.
“The Muslim women should please offer special prayers during the Jumat on Fridays while Christian women should also offer special prayers on Sundays as they go to worship God.
“Following her antecedents, Dr Okonjo-Iweala has proved herself, both locally and internationally, as an expert on trade, economics and governance.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a world-acclaimed economist, skilled in the workings of international financial and development systems.
“As an innovative manager, she has a good grasp of the world economy and most importantly, trade, as a tool of development,” the statement said.
It particularly noted that the candidate’s experience in financial systems and global trade had made her an expert consultant to governments across the globe.
“Following Okonjo-Iweala’s antecedents, she is very qualified to be the new head of WTO, especially at this critical period of global economic downturn caused by the Coronavirus pandemic,” the statement said.
Natal Care Partnership, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has moved to strengthened the maternal, child healthcare system in the country to reduce the rate of mortality.
The National Cordinator of the organisation, Amb. Boniface Anidobu said this in Abuja on Thursday at the inaugural meeting of the Board of Committee of Natal expected to pilot the implementation of the programme.
He said that the focus of the programme was targeted at maintaining grassroots accessibility to maternal and child care services where every woman would be a beneficiary.
According to Anidobu, the aim of the programme is to reduce the present high mortality rate in the country, while the scope is projected and targeted at the 774 local government in the country.
“Our plan is to make the healthcare facilities not far from women and child, we have introduced a book which will be given to pregnant women to guide them from the birth of a child until the baby approached five years.
“The handbook will guide the pregnant woman even on how to attend antenatal care, we have included this innovative project in our drive towards maternal and child healthcare system.
“Women who are not educated will be enlighten through the handbook that will be given to them and our system,’’ he said.
He added that the programme would be implemented through the assistance of the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) in Nigeria and the Ministry of Women Affairs.
In her keynote address, the Minister of Women Affairs expressed regret about the high rate of maternal/child mortality rate in the country as reported by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
According to her, the figure published by NPHCDA is no doubt frightening to the extent that the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates showed concern on Nigeria’s situation in this regards.
“As you all know, the issues of maternal and child healthcare are comprehensive in nature as it includes other variables nutrition services, medical care during and after pregnancy, the wellbeing of the children is tied to the mother.
“As a nation, we must all work together to ensure that women and children have access to health which includes access to healthcare, early intervention services, education, employment, economic opportunity, social support and many more,’’ she said.
Mrs Shoda Laraba, the President of NCWS affirmed her total confidence in the Board of Committee, saying that the society would do its best to reduce mother and child mortality in the country.
Dr Nneka Onwu, the Director, Department of Community Health Service said that the issue of maternal/child mortality calls for more concern by Nigerians to find a lasting solution to the issue.
She, however, urged the relevant authorities to call for a state of public health concern on the issue.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)
Shoda said that with the reported increase in COVID-19 cases to 52,548, by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday, and with detection of 321 fresh infections in the country, the situation was worrisome.
The NCWS president said that following the increase in the number of infected persons in Nigeria and around the world, it has become imperative for Nigerians to be wise and obey the preventive measures put in place.
She said obeying the safety guidelines by both Federal and state governments would go a long way to curb the spread and help to trace people that are already infected with Covid-19.
According to her, while obeying the safety guidelines, people must be conscious of proper hygiene such as regular and proper washing of hands, keeping of the mandatory distance.
”The safety guidelines are in our best interest. It is to help us secure our lives and that of our love ones.
”Looking at the daily infection rate in states as published by the NCDC, it goes to show that most Nigerians are not abiding with the guidelines and this is not good for us.
”We are calling on the government to continue with the provision of welfare to all indigent Nigerians that constitute over 70 per cent of the population. These group of persons are badly affected by the pandemic,’’ she said.
Shoda said that the pandemic had affected the economy badly and all hands must be on deck to revive it.
She also called on government to make the price of mask, hand sanitizer affordable so that indigent Nigerians could afford it.
”We plead with shop owners to please stop escalating prices of medical and preventive materials and food items, Let us be kind to our fellow humans at this crucial time of our lives,’’ the NCWS president said.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni (NAN)
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) on Monday condoled with Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara over the death of his father, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu.
Mrs Laraba Shoda, National President, NCWS in a statement commiserated with the government and people of Kwara State and the Ilorin Emirate over the demise of their patriarch.
Shoda said that the late elder statesman was a trailblazer, being the first in virtually all areas of his endeavour among his people.
According to her, late Mutawali of Ilorin was the first lawyer in Northern Nigeria who left indelible footprints on legal practices and public service in Nigeria.
”Alhaji AbdulRazaq lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation by all, she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Alhaji AbdulGaniyu died at about 2 a.m on July 25.
NAN reports that the Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafida of Zazzau (Zaria), was Chairman of the Nigerian Body of Benchers.
The first lawyer from the Northern Region is survived by his 90-year-old wife Alhaja Raliat, illustrious children (including incumbent Gov. AbdulRazaq), and grandchildren.
She prayed God to accept his soul and grant those he left behind the fortitude to bear his loss.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), has urged the Federal Government to protect Ms. Joy Nunieh from all forms of physical and emotional harassment while she faces probe.
Nunieh is a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Mrs Laraba Shoda, the National President of NCWS made the call in a statement in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nunieh is currently facing investigation into an alleged financial recklessness of N22.6 billion said to have been perpetrated under her stewardship at the NDDC.
According to her, Nunieh should be allowed to face the Senate Committee handling the probe to defend herself without intimidation.
”All forms of harassment and intimidations should stop. We are not against her being probed but what we don’t want is for her to be harassed in any way.
“The Senate Committee should be allowed to do proper investigations into the alleged misappropriation of funds and if she is found guilty, the law should take its cause,” she said.
Shoda also commended Gov. Nyesom Wike for rescuing Nunieh and freeing her from the supposed “house arrest” by suspected armed policemen.
”We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, having constituted a committee to end all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV), to protect Nunieh and allow her face the probe in peace.
”It is bad enough that she is undergoing a probe but an harassment will be too much for her to bear.
”We should please understand that she is a woman and needs our protection.
Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)