The Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN), umbrella organisation of Private Employment Agencies in Nigeria, says it is partnering with the Federal Government to promote safe and regular labour migration.
HuCaPAN President, Olufemi Ogunlowo, said in a statement in Abuja that the agreement was reached at a courtesy visit by the association’s leadership to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The HuCaPAN team was led by its Executive Secretary, Jide Afọlábí, and were received by Ms Kachollom Daju, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry.
The HuCaPAN team expressed optimism that its partnership with the ministry would yield positive results and lead to a safe, orderly and regular labour migration in Nigeria.
“As you are aware, the Federal Government has suspended international recruitment; issuance and renewal of international recruitment licenses since 2018.“After a series of meetings and follow-ups with the ministry, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for private employment agencies in Nigeria was drafted and launched recently.
“Following the launch, HuCaPAN organised Webinar for private employment agencies in Nigeria on the SOP.
“It was thereafter, that the ministry requested international recruiters to renew their licences.
We are confident that the speedy process of renewal applications by our members will help to promote regular labour migration in Nigeria,” Ogunlowo said.
He noted that when deployed, the SOP, which was drafted by the government with critical stakeholders’ input, would help in no small measures in containing the activities of human traffickers and unlicensed agenciesAccording to him, HuCaPAN will continue to campaign against labour casualisation at home and abroad as it believes that it is against the principle of decent work.
Ogunlowo said the association was being guided by HuCaPAN Constitution and the Code of Conduct for private employment agencies in Nigeria which was reviewed in 2021 with technical support from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
He said the Code of Conduct was reviewed with the assistance of International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and other social partners.
“To further promote decent work agenda in Nigeria, we shall be true to our mantra – anywhere a Nigerian is found working; must have a decent work,” he said.
In her response, the permanent secretary, Ms Kachollom, appreciated the good work being done by HuCaPAN toward promoting decent jobs for Nigerians.
She said the government was interested in ensuring that those seeking jobs overseas do so in a decent way without posing any threat to themselves and the government.
She said that the government was also concerned about the welfare of all Nigerians both at home and abroad.
“This is the reason the Ministry with other relevant agencies and stakeholders have come up with the SOP so that private employment agencies will operate within the confines of the policies and internationally acceptable standards,” she said.
She urged HuCaPAN to use the proposed private employment agencies chief executives conference to expatiate on the rudiments of the procedure and roles of various stakeholders in the labour migration governance and management in Nigeria.
The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan attended the launch ceremony of the Operationalization of the National Integrated Emergency Management Plan (NIEMP), which took place at the Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa, Beau Vallon yesterday morning.
This event has been facilitated by the World Bank with the Government of Seychelles, with the support of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative.
The Crews Initiative; is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose mandate covers weather, climate and water resources.
The World Bank delegation is conducting a 2-week mission from August 1 to 12, 2022 in Seychelles to provide technical assistance to the Disaster Risk Management Division (DRMD).
World Bank technical assistance will focus on improving emergency coordination at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) level and turning early warning into effective early action.
There will be training sessions covering two main components; that is, the training of specialized support personnel who will be the Focal Point dedicated to Disaster Risk Management (DRM) of the key MDAs to support decision makers for the coordination of DRM.
These Focal Points are expected to eventually lead the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Contingency Response Plans for their MDAs. Second, build the capacity of key decision-makers within MDAs to better understand their roles in supporting disaster response and recovery operations.
In his opening speech, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Errol Fonseka, affirmed that the National Integrated Emergency Management Plan outlines the path to follow so that all the actors develop their sectoral plans according to their functions as lead agencies and support in five functional areas that includes Rescue and Security, Health, Humanitarian Services, Infrastructure and Essential Services, and Emergency Management.
He called on all stakeholders to see the urgency of implementing the development of plans and SOPs for Risk Reduction based on the existential changes that are happening around the world and that have a direct impact on the security of the country.
“It is true that the ownership for the development of Risk Reduction Plans and SOPs does lie with the respective portfolios, however, I hasten to add that at DRMD, we will be at your side at all times to help you in your development.
These functions will need to be put in place to meet the government's expectations of reducing disaster risks by implementing an effective collaborative approach to reduce the effects of multi-hazard events,” the Minister said.
“Its objective is to strengthen emergency preparedness for an effective response at all levels and thus contribute to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 Priority 4: Improve disaster preparedness for an effective response and 'Build Back Better' in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction," he added.
World Bank Task Force Leader, Ms. Keren Charles, reiterated that the main focus of technical assistance is to improve emergency coordination at the ministries, departments, and agency levels by turning early warning into effective early action.
“Training sessions to empower specialist support staff who will be key MDA Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Dedicated Focal Point and key decision makers within MDA will be provided with insights to better understand their roles in supporting to the disaster response and recovery operation,” said Ms. Carlos.
During the ceremony, there were also remarks from the Director General (DRMD), Mr. Robert Ernesta, the Head of CREWS by Video, Mr. John Harding, the Seychelles Risk and Resilience Requirements High Level Overview Presentation and the Disaster Case Study by Senior Disaster Risk Management Consultants (World Bank) Mr. Paul Hayden (World Bank).
Also present at the ceremony yesterday morning was the Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Ahmed Afif, Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles.
Honorable Roger Mancienne, Ministers and DRMD team.
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says digitisation for service delivery and implementation of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will save billions yearly.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said this in a statement issued on Friday by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations in Abuja.
He said it would save the country about N4.5 billion annually.
Inuwa, represented by Dr Usman Gambo, Director, IT Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS) at a one-day ECM Service-Wide Round Table Workshop on ECM implementation with the topic “The Modalities of Software Clearance on ECM Solution for MDAs”.
ECM is being organised by the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) as a success factor required by any enterprise to survive and remain competitive in post-COVID-19 era.
Inuwa said it would aid information availability, agile business processes and conformity to governmental regulatory requirements.
He added that ECM would address limitations and provide the capabilities to effectively and efficiently manage challenges imposed by the demanding business requirements of modern world.
“Constraints such as complexity of massive volumes of variant data and information that exists in a broad array of formats, complex and extended business processes spanning the business functions and partners around the globe and others can be resolved by the implementation of the ECM.
“The Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and other government establishments are not left out in this pursuit of digital transformation excellence.
“It is in line with National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS 2020-2030), the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025.
“Digitalisation of government processes facilitates transparency, efficiency, productivity, participation, inclusiveness, cost savings, and competitive advantage, which ultimately translates to social and economic development for a country like Nigeria.
“Digitalisation of government processes is a must for any country aiming for development and ECM is used to manage information throughout its lifecycle, in line with the Digital Services Development and Promotion Pillar of NDEPS, among others,” he added.
According to him, some of the benefits of ECM to FPIs include saving employees’ time for mining information from physical paper documents, reduced cost of file storage and paper needs, among others.
He recalled that the FG issued a circular No 6.1965 of April 18, 2006 that directed all FPIs planning to embark on any IT project to obtain clearance from NITDA.
The D-G said the directive was reissued on Aug.
31, 2018 with Circular Number 59736.2.125, reiterating the need for all FPIs and other government establishments to relate with and obtain clearance before embarking on any IT project.
He said that to ensure seamless implementation of the mandate, NITDA issued a guideline on IT project clearance in line with the need for a coordinated, standardised and orderly approach to the deployment of IT systems by FPIs. He disclosed that a total of 258 projects from 97 FPIs amounting to a total investment of N152,043,373,117 were cleared in 2021 and a total of N24,403,266,842 was saved for the government in the same year.
“In consideration of the tremendous success of the IT Projects Clearance process, the Federal Executive Council, at its sitting on the March 9, 2022, approved that FPIs must obtain a Quality Assurance Certificate from NITDA for any cleared IT project that is up to N1,000,000,000 or more, prior to the closure of the project.
“This is to further strengthen the value realisation of government investment in Digital Transformation.
The Head of Civil Service’s ECM project has passed through the NITDA’s IT clearance process.
“The project was granted clearance on Feb.
23, after satisfactorily meeting all the requirements, including thorough engagement with the technical personnel from the OHCSF as well as the potential Service Provider,” he said.
While applauding the initiative by Head of Service of the Federation in setting the pace for implementation of ECM, Inuwa called on all FPIs to key into the initiative and submit their ECM projects for clearance by NITDA.
The Head of Service, Dr Folasade Yemi-Essan, in her remarks, stated that OHCSF set up a culture change joint project committee in July 2020, adding that it reduced the status of ECMs in various local government areas.
Yemi-Essan further said that it reviewed of the functional and technical requirements of the ECMs platform, developed request for a proposal for the procurement of the service provider, and did develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the OHCSF.
“They looked at deploying infrastructural support for the effective implementation of ECM.
“A change and communication management team was established to conduct risk management of ECMs. ” Some 16 MDAs, staff in LGAs and the OHCSF in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy have already been trained.
The Federal Government is deploying digital technologies to enhance Nigeria’s agricultural development to ensure food security in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, made this known on Monday in Abuja.
Receiving the Standard Operating Procedures, (SOPs), documents from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the minister said it had become imperative to operate on that scale for more efficiency and productivity.
“This is in a bid to key into a technology-driven work process and procedure according to best global practices.
“To achieve a dynamic Civil Service, Government has considered it pertinent to have laid down operating standards, hence the adoption of SOPs, which would significantly bring about an effective system of service delivery not only in the Ministry of Agric but service wide,” he said.
Abubakar said that the document is also a guide for employee work process toward the full operationalization of the Enterprise Content Management with the mandate to digitilize records and automation workflow in the Ministry.
He also commended efforts of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Esan and her team for the laudable reforms going on in the Civil Service.
” I therefore urge all the respective Directors, Heads of Departments and their champions who are the owners of this documents, to ensure that the full operationalization of the developed SOPs align with the Ministry’s mandate.
” As well as vision and thus leading to the transition of its work processes to meet the demand of an increasingly technology-driven world in accordance with civil service reforms,” he said.
The Minister also encouraged management and staff to embrace the initiative and take it seriously in their various tasks, as the SOPs are globally recognised documents that provides the step-by step instructions compiled to assist all officers in the service to perform their operational tasks accurately and effectively.
In a remark, Umakhihe, expressed delight over the development (digitaliztion) in the Ministry.
” It is not far-fetched fact that the developed SOPs would act as a complete guide for staff work processes.
” It is also an aspect of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) with the mandate to digitilize Ministry’s records and automate workflow to achieve the overall improvement in information sharing and collaboration across our Agencies, Institutes and State Offices as time goes on.
“It is my fervent belief and hope that the implementation of SOPs will professionally boost the Ministry’s output and encourage all staff to give their best to the service of the nation and the ministry in particular.
“I am confident that the Ministry would benefit greatly by reducing errors, increasing productivity and efficiency and also create a safe work environment through these guides produced to resolve issues and overcome obstacles,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the departmental ‘champions’ will tomorrow Tuesday, 19th July, have a refresher training, which knowledge and skill gained will be cascaded to various states’ offices, agencies and institutes for full operationalization of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in the Agric Sector.
In a welcome address, the Director, Human Resource Management, in the ministry, Mrs Oluwatoyin Alade, said that the policy is to advance management towards full digitalization.
“The era of paper work is gradually being phased out.
Therefore, I enjoin us to key into these reforms if we must continue to be relevant as Civil Servants”, Alade said.
The Police Command in Lagos state on Saturday announced its resolve to enforce the ban on the use of Police Spy Number Plates.
The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, announced this on his verified Twitter handle on Saturday, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Inspector-General of Police (I-GP), on Wednesday ordered a ban on use of Police SPY Vehicle Number Plates by vehicle owners across all the states of the federation.
The Force spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who made this known in a statement, also stated that, irrespective of whether it was authorised or not, all authorisations were revoked indefinitely.
“This order is necessary to forestall the continuous disregard for traffic rules and regulations and other extant laws guiding road use by individuals hiding under the privileges of SPY police number plates.
“The I-GP has, therefore, directed that police officers and other agencies attached to VIPs who use the SPY number plates should ensure prompt compliance with this directive or risk being arrested for violation of the order,” Adejobi said.
The police command in Lagos, therefore, urged all persons currently in possession of such plates to forthwith discontinue their usage.
Hundeyin warned that as part of the enforcement, the plates would be confiscated by the police and other security agencies wherever they might be seen in the state.
“Users of these plates are to cooperate with security agencies in this regard.
“In line with the SOPs of the ban and its enforcement, no user of these plates is to be arrested, except where, of course, such a user resists the removal and confiscation of the plate or assaults security agents in the process.
“It is to be noted that it is immaterial that the number plates were duly acquired and appropriately used, as all authorisations have been revoked,” he said.
The image maker called on all concerned to give maximum support in the enforcement as the development was geared towards improving internal security in the country.
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Edo command, has advised its recruits to be humble in order to learn on the job.
Mr Samuel Dan, the state commandant of the corps, gave the advice on Thursday in Benin at the passing out parade of the 20192022 batch of NSCDC recruits.
He also urged them to humble themselves in order to qualify for future arms training.
Disclosing that 151 recruits were passing out after the training which began in April, he noted that an increase in its staff members strength was a key factor to boosting the security architecture of the state.
He said that the command was poised to stamp out crime, terrorism and vandalism from the state.
He further said that the recruitment and training of those passing out were in line with the vision of the Commandant General of the corps, Dr Ahmed Audi.
This according to the commandant was to strategically restructure, accentuate and reposition the corps to better tackle evolving security challenges.
“Ahmed Audi upon assumption of duty fought to remove the bottlenecks that hampered this recruitment since 2019. Today it is a dream come true.”
The commandant said that the recruits were tutored on both proactive and reactive security tactics of identifying threats, vulnerabilities spots as well as mitigating measures against crimes and emergencies.
“I wish to, therefore, thank our sister security agencies in Edo for their support and cooperation. Their work and synergy is legendary.
In his remarks, Mr Shuayb Jibril, Assistant Commandant General (ACG), Zone G, urged the recruits to avail themselves of the corps’ Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Condition of Service as well as the Code of Conduct.
Jubril, represented by Mr Fasusi Ajuwale, said that this was imperative as any act of disloyalty to the system, disobedience and insubodination would be decisively dealt with and defaulters shown the way out.
He noted that the corps was strictly guided by the SOP, condition of service as well as the code of conduct documents in its engagements and re-engagements of its personnel.
He also said that there were established channels of communication through which the recruits should be guided with regard to official matters, correspondence and expression of grievances.
He further urged them to make out time for their personal development which would go a long way in adding value to their service in NSCDC and the country in general.
“You need to make out time for your personal development which will go a long way in adding value to your service in NSCDC and the country in general,” he said.
In their good will message to the graduating recruits, heads of security agencies in the state noted that present security challenges in the country had brought about the need for measures to tackle the myriads of challenges.
Brig.-Gen. Sani Abdullahi, the 4 Brigade Commander, who spoke on behalf of the service chiefs advised them to continue with training on the job as they go into the field.
“With contemporary security challenges, no one security agency can do it all. This, therefore, calls for synergy.
“Existing synergy and cooperation among security agencies in the state are yielding results.
“So you are going to the field to be part of this team and also recognise the fact that there is no supremacy when it comes to service.
“We are all one and together,” Abdullahi said.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says it has obtained the necessary approvals to implement the Advance Declaration of Cargo regime in upstream oil operations, to reduce the export of stolen crude oil.
NUPRC says this will ensure that shipments of crude oil and gas exported from Nigeria have a unique identifier confirming all documentation regarding the exported shipment.
Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, Executive Director of the NUPRC Commission (CCE), said this on Friday in Abuja in a stakeholder engagement with journalists while highlighting his initiatives to curb oil theft in Nigeria.
Komolafe said this meant that any cargo that did not have the unique identifier would not be legitimately exported from the country.
He said that, in accordance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, he developed additional initiatives to collaborate with oil and gas operating companies (including NNPC) and the upper level of the Nigerian security forces to end the threat.
He said the commission had started a large-scale audit of crude oil theft and upstream asset integrity audit assessment to establish the actual figures of crude oil theft in the upstream oil industry.
This, he said, was in view of the recent controversial figures on the theft volumes released by some operators in the industry, which negatively impact the Federation's income.
"This is very important as the nation derives its royalties from net crude oil revenues," he said.
Similarly, he said that in line with its statutory duties as a regulator, the commission obtained the necessary approvals to guarantee the installation of metering equipment (LACT Units) in the upstream oil industry, using Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
He revealed that this would prevent possible manipulation of figures that could result in a reduction in the Federation's oil and gas revenues.
On his reforms, he said that in line with section 314 of the PIA, 2021, he had successfully implemented the delimitation of personnel between the commission and the Petroleum Regulatory Authority (MDPRA).
Later, he said the commission had begun workforce auditing, job mapping and skills development programs designed to optimize human capital.
“The Commission completed the separation of Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) from the legacy DPR and implemented automation of business workflow processes.
“The processes are the Revenue Ledger and Information System (RLIS) portal for companies to submit all foreign and local royalty payments and the National Balance of Payments portal for reporting inbound and outbound direct investments associated with the export of crude oil.
"Others are the development of the Asset Management Web Portal (AMWP) for Marginal Fields and Oil Facilities and e-Library, which provides access to all internal resources, including checklists, SOPs, templates and reference materials," said Komolafe. .
The CCE, however, noted that the commission was deliberate in identifying and sanctioning new projects and new field developments to help boost domestic oil production.
“We will continue to work with all the interested parties in the strategic areas and we will do so, without prejudice to the medium and long-term strategies.
“We will continue to implement some immediate (short-term) oil profit strategies in light of the current bullish realities in international crude prices,” he said. (
High-risk foods that are not handled and used correctly are the leading reason for foodborne illness outbreaks. It is estimated that 600 million (nearly one in 10 people in the world) become ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die each year, resulting in the loss of 33 million years of healthy life. In Zimbabwe, foodborne illness is one of the common health problems, ranging from diarrhea to cancer.
To save lives and promote good health, "it is important to have a well-prepared food inspection service that can achieve rapid and cost-effective control of hazardous foods," said Victor Nyamandi, Director of the Ministry's Department of Environmental Health Services. of health. and Child Care (MoHCC).
In response to this call, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the European Union (EU)-funded project Transforming Zimbabwe's Animal Health and Food Security Systems for the Future ( ZAGP-SAFE) has been training environmental health personnel around the world. of the country in Food Safety Risk Analysis, focusing on risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
According to the FAO/WHO Food Safety Risk Analysis Guide for National Food Safety Authorities, FAO has, since November 2021, collaborated with the Zimbabwean government to train 311 food safety inspectors. food.
“We trained the last group of 36 food inspectors from Matebeleland North Province from April 6-8, 2022. Overall, the training strengthened the capacity and skills of the Environmental Health Officers in the Ministry, in the application of risk-based approaches during food safety inspections. , including the familiarization of the participants with the notions of combination of risks, foods and hazards”. Victor Nyamandi.
Speaking after the training workshop for food inspectors from Matebeleland North, FAO SAFE Project Coordinator Basil Mugweni stated that “the training would also strengthen the capacity and skills of Environmental Health Officers, including familiarization of participants with the notions of risk, food and danger. combinations.”
MoHCC Food Safety Manager Margaret Tawodzera noted that the training workshops improved the ability of food inspectors to identify high-risk foods or high-risk food preparation processes, as well as allowing inspectors to focus inspection on those foods or processes that are most likely to cause foodborne illness if left unchecked.
One of the workshop participants, Michelle Shamiso Ng'andu, a professor at Bulawayo Polytechnic, added that the training workshops equipped her with the knowledge and skills to protect consumers by implementing proper food controls to ensure that food is; properly handled, stored, manufactured, processed, transported, prepared, served and sold.
“It was a great honor and pleasure to be part of this workshop. This workshop will help me in my day to day activities as I am a lecturer training Environmental Health Trainees (EHT). In particular, the training challenged me to think big. I was motivated throughout the workshop and was able to identify gaps in food hygiene. I know for a fact that when I return to the area of food safety, my thrust will be to encourage students to identify problems in the community and develop simple, low-cost systems and technologies that protect their communities from food hazards,” Ng' said. I walked
About the SAFE project
The scope of the SAFE project is not limited to training in food safety risk analysis; It also covers the development of policy documents such as the country's Food Safety strategy, minimum health guidelines for Food Establishments, and Food Recall Regulations.
“FAO, under the SAFE project, is also helping the Department of Environmental Health Services to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), capacity building through the procurement of food inspection kits and the development of a system information management on food safety and port health”, Basil.
In addition, the SAFE project is strengthening the capacity of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to provide animal health services to improve livestock production and productivity in rural areas. To this end, the project has facilitated the development of five new regulations to improve the environment for ranchers and other value chain actors to do business easily.
“To bring essential veterinary supplies closer to rural farmers, the project has upgraded 26 animal health centers in 18 districts in Zimbabwe. These centers are set up to offer a wide range of valuable supplies to reduce high supply costs by eliminating travel costs and middlemen who often sell counterfeit drugs,” Basil said.
For the sustainability of the project's animal health interventions, FAO has facilitated partnerships between private sector institutions and the DVS to provide sustainable veterinary input supplies, which will result in increased livestock production.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global health emergency and an economic slowdown, calling for prevention while promoting economic activities. Using the International Labor Organization (ILO) Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) modules for business development, UN agencies, in collaboration with the Nigerian government, jointly implemented a project to enhance the capacity of MSMEs /local manufacturers to produce quality personal protective equipment and accessories. other health-related products. The IMESUN training, implemented jointly by the ILO and UN Women, has trained up to 114 MSMEs from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The United Nations System in Nigeria and the Government of Nigeria implemented a project to strengthen the capacity of MSMEs and local manufacturers to produce high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) and healthcare-related products. The project, financed by the United Nations Basket Fund and implemented jointly by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Women, supports the ability of Nigerian MSMEs and manufacturers to meet both internal and external demand.
As the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, many countries are focusing on meeting their domestic needs. Many MSMEs are switching to PPE production to take advantage of the economic opportunity. Several local factories, industries and manufacturers (including tailors) have changed their production lines to take advantage of this increased demand. However, this rise has not been without challenges ranging from understanding how to build a viable business to producing quality PPE.
Training objectives included the need to: address identified knowledge and skills gaps among business owners, especially those in PPE production; provide quality resources and technical support to help business owners grow and expand their business operations; identify other areas of support required in this area; develop an understanding of gender basics so that you can promote gender mainstreaming practices and human rights-based approaches in your business operations; and monitor, review, and certify Start and Improve Your Business trainers.
In her opening remarks at the event held at the Hotel Valencia on February 28, 2022, the Director of the ILO, Ms. Vanessa Phala, lamented the effect of COVID-19 on the country's economy. Speaking through Dino Corell, she affirmed that the crisis has affected investment, growth and employment while exerting a negative impact on the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises. “The pandemic has an asymmetric impact on small businesses and the workers employed in these units, who have borne the brunt of the pandemic's fallout,” she said. Ms. Vanessa Phala expressed optimism and reiterated that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria are vital for decent and productive employment, accounting for two-thirds of all jobs globally and creating many new jobs. .
Along the same lines, UN Women National Program Officer, Ms. Patience Ekeoba, who represented the UN Women Country Representative, highlighted that UN Women will pay special attention to improving the marketing capabilities of women-owned MSMEs. for expanding business growth and policy adoption. issues associated with the distribution of products produced by women and young women entrepreneurs and expand gender-responsive procurement principles to ensure that government agencies, development partners and private sector entities prioritize PPE produced by women .
UNIDO's Lead Technical Advisor for the project, Jarl M Hansstein, in his goodwill message noted that a needs analysis was conducted on selected MSMEs to reveal the areas where they needed support and incentives to improve their products and business. He also mentioned that the project aims to help companies improve the quality of their PPE and also target export markets within the ECOWAS region. In addition, UNIDO will build on this important training, helping them to formulate and implement concrete business plans in relation to the specific objectives to be achieved.
The WHO coordinator for the project, Tayo Hamzat, stated that the project will not only contribute to improving Nigeria's health status, but will also help boost the economy by opening Nigerian produce to the international market because the project was designed to produce quality PPE. products in a safe and healthy environment for business. He added that this was a rich project because the selected beneficiaries would have interventions from four Participating United Nations Organizations (PUNO) and urged participants to make sure they seize the opportunity.
In his special remarks, the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, represented by Dr. Martina Nwordu, Director of Tasks and Special Projects, thanked the different struggles that the entrepreneurs went through and applauded the training as strategic. The minister affirmed that "it is, therefore, a good initiative to support these groups of entrepreneurs to access information for the promotion and positioning of young companies in Nigeria, as a good practice". He also pointed out that through the activities of NDE, a parastatal company under the Ministry of Labour, SMEs have benefited as groups and as individuals from business development as a means of job creation. He promised the ministry's willingness to effectively support and participate in the project.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, the Director of Economic Services of the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs through the Office of Women's Economic Empowerment Officer, Ms. Joy Obaje, pledged her support for the project. She also pointed to some ministry interventions to support women entrepreneurs, such as access to financial interventions, as well as the 50 Million Women's African Speaking Platform Project (50MAWSP) financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to contribute to the economic and social empowerment of 50 million women in business in 38 African countries.
IMESUN training was one of the intervention areas of the whole project and it started with the training of trainers. The trainers were appointed by ILO and UN Women tripartite partners, including the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment (FMLE), the Nigerian Congress Nigeria Labor Law (NLC) in addition to those nominated by the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs (FMWA).
The Training of Entrepreneurs (TOE) using IMESUN modules focuses on starting and improving small businesses as a strategy to create more and better jobs for women and men. The program is made up of a set of interrelated training packages for different levels of business maturity, including Start Your Business; Improve your business; and expand your business. SIYB aims to increase the viability of MSMEs through management principles suitable for the environment of developing economies.
As many as 114 MSMEs (63 women-owned and 51 men-owned businesses) from Nigeria's six geopolitical zones have received training on how to grow their businesses with a gender lens. The trainings were held in three different locations across the country: 64 MSMEs from the northern region (NC, NE and NW) were trained in Abuja from February 28 to March 11; 25 MSMEs from the Southwest region were trained in Lagos from March 14 to 18, and up to 25 MSMEs from the Southeast and South-South regions were trained in Enugu from March 21 to 25. Some of the grantees have provided positive feedback on the quality of the program.
“In my five years running this business, I never thought about expanding, because I always had the belief that it's scary. This training made me realize that it is due to some bad business practices that I have advocated. For example, I have operated with the mindset that trading capital is mine and as such I must use it in any way I choose. My Ahaa moment came during the module on financial planning. I learned in detail the financial implications of every aspect of my business, as well as how to separate business money from personal money. In fact, if I had continued to run my business as I did before the training, especially financially, I would never have scaled up” Rashidat, a PPE entrepreneur from Kogi “The trainers showed a very high level of having been properly trained before training us. They were approachable, emotionally intelligent in managing the adult classes, and had a good grounding in business development SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). They did everything possible so that the students reached a high level of satisfaction. The cartoon-level simplification and street-level clarity of the training manual, which is also adaptable to the Nigerian context, is something I have yet to see in any business development training. The naughty subject of cash flow has been stripped down to such basics that even a five-year college program can't pull it off. Simply put, the training manual is excellent for its intended purpose.” Muhammad Kachalla, PPE entrepreneur from Maiduguri.
In his remarks, one of the IMESUN trainers from the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, Odunayo Balogun, thanked the funders and PUNOs of the project and described it as timely and asked MSMEs not to joke about the opportunity.
When you are an illegal immigrant, you are considered less than dogsNEW YORK, United States of America, January 14, 2022/APO Group/ --
“Soldiers shot us in the back as we fled through the forest. Some girls were raped and beaten. when they caught us [in a neighbouring country], the police made us sleep next to a bathroom. We had to ask them for food”, shares Alem Kifle* about his migration journey. “When you are an illegal immigrant, you are considered less than a dog.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through Ethiopia, the country's already high unemployment rate increased and travel restrictions obstructed safe migration pathways for thousands of Ethiopians. In a desperate attempt to provide for her children, Kifle, like many others, turned to human traffickers who promised her work. But her journey ended with three months in prison in a foreign country before being deported back home.
“When I returned to Ethiopia, I had no money and was depressed. My son lived on the street and my daughter lived with a neighbor. In a situation like this, your own family may turn their backs on you,” he says.
Some 550,000 migrants were expected to return from the Gulf countries to Ethiopia in 2020 due to the pandemic, many of them traumatized by the violence they experienced during migration. Despite increased demand, shelters were unable to accommodate returnees because they did not have enough isolation spaces or personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent coronavirus transmission and lacked qualified staff.
A safe space and a new beginning for victims of irregular migration and migrant women
Kifle was referred to one of these specialized women's shelters, run by the Good Samaritan Association (GSA) in December 2020. The GSA shelter provides safe accommodation, medical care, psychological counseling and vocational training for women survivors of violence victims of trafficking, deportees and returnees. . After completing vocational training that provides them with business skills as well as leadership and life skills, the women receive small grants to start their own businesses.
“The fact that I was able to access these services gave me hope and courage,” says Kifle. At the GSA shelter he received immediate medical treatment and counselling. She was also trained in food preparation. With the start-up capital she received from GSA, Kifle now runs a small tea and coffee shop in her hometown and raises her two children.
“Our role is to make women believe that they can work and that their lives can change,” says Hirut Yebabe, executive director of GSA. “We provide care services to survivors of violence, showing them love and compassion. It is always a great joy to see survivors grow up and become role models for other women.”
Between August and December 2020, GSA shelters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the northern city of Gondar supported the rehabilitation of 55 trafficked, deported and returnee women and girls who experienced violence. All of them are now back in their communities, rebuilding their lives and earning a decent income.
Trauma healing through counseling
Migrant women and girls may experience violence at all stages of migration: during the journey or in transit, upon arrival in the country of destination and upon return to their country of origin. While survivors require a variety of services, a 2016 UN Women study found that most survivors rated counseling as the most valuable service they received in shelters.
Beza Hailu* immigrated to Beirut in Lebanon to work as a domestic worker to pay for her mother's medical expenses in Ethiopia. But her employer physically and mentally abused her and withheld her pay. While Hailu was suffering, her mother died from her illness.
“It broke my heart to pieces. I couldn't save her. The guilt was heavy…. I got depressed and became addicted. I lost my purpose in life,” shares Hailu. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Lebanon, Hailu was deported to Ethiopia. She was referred to an Agar Ethiopia Benevolent Society women's shelter in Addis Ababa, where she received intensive counseling.
“When I gave up, my counselor believed in me and inspired me. Frequent counseling sessions silenced the voice in my head that told me I was hopeless. It was like I was given the opportunity to start a new life,” says Hailu.
Hailu's counselor was one of 34 professional counselors who had completed the UN Women training on gender-based violence counseling in 2020, funded by the governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. The training focuses on specific methods for providing personalized counseling and therapy to survivors of violence, based on the core principles of 'Do No Harm' and the empowerment of women, from the Essential Services Package, developed under the Joint Global Program United Nations Essential Services. .
“Looking back, I realize how strong and independent I was to survive what I've been through. I am a changed woman and I am very happy,” says Hailu.
In 2020, the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth, in partnership with UN Women and UNFPA, and funded by the governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, finalized a national standard operating procedure (SOP) for shelter services it now provides Guiding Principles and Standards for the Provision of Shelter in Ethiopia aligned with the United Nations Essential Services Package. The SOP was launched on November 25, 2021, at the start of the global campaign 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Discrimination.
*Name changed to protect survivor's identity