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EU, IIDEA engage commissioners of women affairs on gender equality, rights

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EU, IIDEA engage commissioners of women affairs on gender equality, rights

By: Michael Mike

In a bid to advance gender equality and rights in Nigeria, the European Union (EU), in partnership with the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA) and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, has launched a collaborative initiative by organising a two-day conference tailored for state Commissoners of Women Affairs and their Permanent Secretaries.

Laolu Olawumi, the European Union’s Programme Manager on Democracy, Rule of Law and Gender highlighted that the event aims to provide Commissioners of Women Affairs and their Permanent Secretaries with the technical support needed to address and tackle issues affecting women, children, and other vulnerable groups nationwide. Set against the backdrop of International Women’s Day 2024, the conference marks a significant step towards achieving this year’s theme, “Inspire Inclusion.”

Olawumi elaborated that the conference’s structure is designed to furnish Commissioners with the tools required to effectively confront and resolve rights issues. Moreover, the event serves as a knowledge-sharing forum beyond its primary role of offering technical assistance.

Olawumi added that the EU’s support includes ensuring that planning, budgeting, and implementation processes are inclusive. This strategy promotes the full participation of women, children, and persons with disabilities, integrating inclusivity into governance and societal development.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the conference fostered a meaningful exchange of insights and strategies among state Women’s Affairs Commissioners, bolstering their ability to advocate for gender equality within their jurisdictions.

The event is part of the recently inaugurated second phase of the European Union’s Support to the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC II) programme implemented by IIDEA and based on the achievements of its preceding phase. At the programme launch, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, stated the necessity of a second RoLAC phase to sustain the momentum and continue the EU’s efforts in supporting the Nigerian governments objective of
Of strengthening the rule of law in Nigeria. “It was clear to the European Union that a second phase of the RoLAC was essential to consolidate the progress and continue the commendable work done on enhancing the rule of law in Nigeria,” Ambassador Samuela Isopi remarked during the launch.

Speaking at the conference, the Imo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Lady Nkechinyere Ugwu, expressed the significance of the conference, stating, “This conference, courtesy of the EU, is very important to us, as it gives us an opportunity to come together, share experiences, and develop practicable solutions for our work, which focuses on human rights and the protection of vulnerable populations.”

Adding to the discourse, the Commissioner of Women Affairs for Abia State, Mrs. Ngozi Blessing Felix, shared her thoughts: “This gathering is a cornerstone for us in Abia State to forge stronger collaborations and innovate on policies that directly impact the lives of women and children. It is an invaluable platform for learning and exchanging ideas that can be transformed into actionable strategies for gender equality and the empowerment of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Through the conference, the EU aims to empower state ministries of women affairs to develop and implement comprehensive strategies that support their mission and mandate. Additionally, the initiative seeks to build the capacity of state Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries for Women Affairs, enabling them to act as visible and effective advocates for policy, advocacy, and action on rights-based issues concerning women, children, and persons with disabilities.

EU, IIDEA engage commissioners of women affairs on gender equality, rights

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

By: Zagazola Makama

Nigerian Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in collaboration with the Zamfara State Community Protection Guards on Wednesday, April 24, eliminated scores of terrorists in Zamfara including a top Bandits kingpin, Shuaibu Danlukutu.

It was gathered that the terrorists met their gruesome end after they were ambushed by the troops at Gengene village located along Magami Road in Gusau.

The renewed onslaught against bandits in the general area has continued to be in the upswing as scores of bandits are daily neutralized and their enclaves busted by troops of the Nigerian Army in conjunction with other security forces.

Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

*We must reposition BOA to drive Nigeria’s food security- VP Shettima

By: Our Reporter

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has received key recommendations from its committee on the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), including a proposed merger with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd and a fresh capital injection to revitalize the bank.

Addressing the second NCP meeting of 2024 at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to repositioning and reforming BOA to drive the administration’s food security agenda.

“Let’s get very sound professionals with integrity to manage the bank. If we use it well, it’s going to be a tool for the transformation of our economy because agriculture is the key,” the Vice President said.

Presenting the committee’s report, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who doubles as NCP Vice-Chairman, said the Council’s decision was informed by the challenges identified and the need for urgent resolution of the issues confronting the Bank.

Edun outlined the major recommendations, including “the immediate reconstitution of the Board of Directors of the Bank to enhance corporate governance” and “a merger of BOA with the CBN’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd.”

He also highlighted the proposal to “cede National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) land titles to BOA so that it reflects in its Balance Sheet, thus increasing its capital adequacy for the purpose of raising funds from institutional investors.”

Acknowledging the need for financial reinforcement, the Minister identified “adequate capital injection into the Bank by the shareholders” as a crucial step forward.

The committee’s report comes after the NCP empanelled an 8-member inter-ministerial body in December 2023 to review the state of affairs at BOA, given agriculture’s critical role in the economy and the Tinubu administration’s commitment to food security under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

In 2016, the NCP had approved the collaboration between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the then Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Federal Ministry of Finance to restructure and recapitalize BOA.

A consultant, Lead Capital Consortium, was engaged in 2019 to review the bank’s operations and advise on strategies for rebirth and growth. The consultant’s core recommendation was for the government to recapitalize the bank, implement reforms, provide technical assistance, and transform BOA into a sustainable agricultural development bank.

Edun further outlined additional recommendations, including “Provision and upgrade of the Bank’s ICT infrastructure to automate processes, reduce costs and enhance the Bank’s outreach to the grassroots” and “Enhance governance and risk management by appointing qualified Board members and senior management with relevant expertise.”

In a move to bring transparency and efficiency to the nation’s energy sector, the NCP also noted the proposal seeking approval for the establishment of an independent system operator from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

NCP Chairman, Vice President Shettima, set up a committee to liaise with the Special Adviser to the President on Energy and the Federal Ministry of Power to provide a roadmap and reach out to stakeholders.

The committee is chaired by Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, Technical Committee Chairman of NCP.

On a Strategy Paper for the Optimisation of Oil and Gas Assets, the Council also formed a committee to look into issues concerning oil and gas infrastructure, stressing the strategic importance of investors in the sector.

The committee chaired by the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning includes the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the NCP Secretariat, the Ministers of Power, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas),

The committee was given three weeks to come up with its report on optimizing the nation’s oil and gas assets.
End

NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

By: Our Reporter

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has commended Borno State Governor, Banagana Umara Zulum, for his passion for enhancing the livelihood of Borno citizens.

The Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, made the commendation in Maiduguri on Wednesday while speaking to journalists at the Government House.

She said, “The governor (Zulum) is very passionate about ensuring the livelihood and well-being of his citizens. That is what we as USAID would continue to do.”

She added, “Our partnership is with this government, and our partnership would be strengthened by this visit and by the leadership of this Governor (Zulum). We are very appreciative of his thinking, thought leadership and direction and we will continue with this partnership.”

Earlier the USAID Mission Director to Nigeria, Melisa Jones, held a meeting with the governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, which was concluded behind closed doors.

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Unara Zulum said that Borno State Government would shift its focus from a short-term humanitarian solution to a medium and long-term development-driven approach.

Zulum made this known on Wednesday when he received the Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, at his office in Maiduguri.

The governor said, “We are not objecting to the continuous provision of humanitarian support, but gradually, we want to shift our focus to the medium and longer-term sustainable solution.

He added, “However, we still need humanitarian support; all the concerns of the humanitarian partners will be addressed, and we shall work to see how areas in need continue to receive humanitarian support from our partners.”

The governor also extended gratitude to the government of the United States of America and the US International Development Agency (USAID) for their support to the government of Borno State.

“I convey our deep appreciation to the government of the United States, particularly USAID, for all the support they have been rendering to the government of Borno, the people of Borno State and indeed the entire northeast,” Zulum said.

USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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