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EU Tasks FG, State Governments to Fund SARCs to End SGBV

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EU Tasks FG, State Governments to Fund SARCs to End SGBV


… Expends N1 billion on 41 Centres Across the Country

By: Michael Mike

The European Union (EU) has asked the federal and state governments to take the battle against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) to new heights by funding the 41 existing Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) already existing across the country.

The appeal came on the backdrop of revelation by the EU that over a billion Naira has been expended so far on establishment and sustenance of SARCs across the country.

Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at the 9th Network Conference of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) as one of the activities lined up for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2023, the EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, while disclosing that over 35,000 survivors have so far benefitted from the services of the centres across the country, said the federal and state governments need to take ownership of SARCs by adequately funding them.

Themed ‘Funding and Sustainability of Sexual Assault Referral Centres’, the event was organised by the European Union-funded Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC Phase II) Programme of International Initiative for Democracy and Electoral Assistance funded by the European Union.

Isopi said the funding will go a long way to strengthen the centres to deliver on their mandate of providing free medical, counseling and support services to survivors of sexual violence.

The EU Ambassador, while assuring that the EU is committed to ensuring that voices of victims are heard, insisted that the the establishment of specialised courts for sexual and gender-based violence cases across the country would go a long way in getting prompt justice and reducing incidents SGBV.

She said: “In Nigeria, the European Union has contributed over a billion naira in support of SARCs across the country and we will continue to advocate for more centres and for appropriate funding allocations at federal and state level to make them operational and sustainable.

“Addressing violence against women and girls requires a comprehensive and collective approach. We will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders in supporting legislative instruments.”

The Project Manager, Access to Justice and Co-ordinator, Network of Sexual Assault Referral Centres, RoLAC II, Oluwatoyosi Giwa, said SARCs were expected to provide free medical assistance, forensic medical examination, counseling and justice support services to survivors of the act.

She explained that the objective of the conference is to examine governance issues that continue to limit the impact and sustainability of SARCs in Nigeria and establish clarity on where and how to focus state-level advocacy for funding existing SARCs by state governments.

Giwa said: “We still have a situation where state governments as well as the Federal Government is still not funding largely, SGBV response in Nigeria. And what I mean is that when it comes to emergency rescue, response, shelter services, medical, trauma counseling we still have that significant gap where state government, federal government is still not putting the money where the legislation is. So, all of the different mechanisms that are supposed to respond are there, they are just not properly or adequately funded”.

Speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the Federal and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, represented by the Head of the SGBV Response Unit, Federal Ministry of Justice, Yewande Gbola-Awopetu called for multi-sectoral support from relevant stakeholders for smooth operation of the centres and support from the states through budgetary allocations and human resources services.

Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye tasked states to allocate funds to the Centers in their respective 2024 budgets.

Represented by the Assistant Director, Gender Affairs, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Iheanyichi Amanambu, the Minister said: “As impressive as the efforts of the Federal Government are, the common challenge faced by these centers according to a recent survey is the weak commitment by sub – national governments to strengthen the multi-sectorial and inter-agency collaboration mechanisms that will sustain the delivery of SARCs services to the victims. The implication is that the Centers lack the requisite funds needed to ensure optimal services delivery.

“To this end, I enjoin all the State Ministries of Women Affairs in States where these SARCs Centers are located to as a matter of urgency and in the spirit of gender responsive budgeting specifically allocate funds to these Centers during the 2024 Budget year”.

EU Tasks FG, State Governments to Fund SARCs to End SGBV

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Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

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Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

Nigerian youths have been asked to earnestly seek opportunities available in the country rather than insatiable search for Golden Fleece outside the shores of Nigeria.

The advice was given at the weekend in Abuja at Beyond Talent Conference organised by Africa Relief Trust Initiative (ARTI).

Speaking at the Conference, which had in attendance mainly fresh graduates, the founder of ARTI, Olatunde Popoola noted that there are massive opportunities in the country for anyone to excel and it was needed engaging in irregular migration in search of Golden Fleece outside the country.

He noted that: “Youths as well as women’s level of performance and contribution is a function of their renewed knowledge, skills, attitude and motivation. Attitude constitute the most important factor in the performance of the youths. The right attitude helps to learn, show commitment to work and relate well.

“Problem solving and decision making is also a critical function of an effective youth. They are the reasons why the youth are employed or unemployed. Problems do not go away by ignoring or by good wishes but by appropriate diagnosis, analysis and actions.”

He explained that the effect of training and education. Is especially important because it helps to over-ride natural inclinations, biases or reservations they encountered while in the performance of their duties.

He noted that: “To overcome these inclinations, this “Beyond Talent Conference” things optimizing youthfulness on the pillar of human capital development is designed to enhance youth’s competences and capabilities.”

Popoola explained that ARTI which has already commenced empowerment programmes in, Ogun, Lagos, Rivers States and Abuja has a plan to raise 50,000 young entrepreneurs in 10 years across Africa and raise 10,000 young leaders within the decade.

He noted that as parts of its goals, ARTI plans to build vocational and technical centres across Africa, support government of African countries with basic amenities like schools, hospitals, roads, transport, among others, with the aim of reducing poverty to the barest minimum on the continent.

Lectures were given by Group CEO, Lifestyle Asset Hub Ltd, Dr. Abioye Oke, MD, Pait Services Ltd, Mr. Lanre Farotimi, cofounder, NURIKA, Dr. Talle Amedu, MD, Handsome Leadership Consultancy, Pastor Handsome Okwu and MD/CEO, Dunastes kok Limited, Obiekwe Ndaguba.

Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

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Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

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Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

By: Michael Mike

Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has urged the Federal Government and Northern Governors to take a leaf from Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni’s approach in resolving farmers/herders conflicts

A statement signed on Saturday by the National President of the Association,
Hon. Khalil Mohammed Bello read: “The recent handling of Farmers/Herders conflicts in Yobe State by His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, has been commendable.

“After unexpected conflicts arose in the Fika and Gujba Local Government Areas of Yobe, Governor Buni demonstrated remarkable leadership by swiftly forming conflict resolution committees. This proactive approach led to the establishment of committees comprising herders, farmers, representatives of royal highness, security operatives, and others, tasked with identifying root causes and preventing future incidents.”

Bello added that: “Governor Buni’s directives also extended to Local Government Chairmen to form similar committees in their areas, emphasizing the importance of peace and harmony in the state. In response, the Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has embarked on a sensitization campaign to reinforce peaceful coexistence among members and neighboring communities.

“Additionally, traditional rulers were tasked with organizing security meetings to uphold peace within their jurisdictions. Stakeholders, including security personnel, heads of Farmers and Herders associations, and community leaders, have actively engaged in discussions aiming to maintain unity and stability.

“The positive response from stakeholders and the collaborative efforts to address conflicts reflect a shared commitment to lasting solutions. KACRAN acknowledges Governor Buni’s dedication to resolving conflicts and calls upon other Governors to adopt similar proactive measures in addressing Farmers/Herders conflicts nationwide.”

Bello added that the leadership demonstrated by Governor Mai Mala Buni is praised, and it is hoped that replicating such initiatives across states will lead to the eradication of farmers/gerders conflicts in Nigeria.

Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

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Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign AffairsLeak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

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Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Leak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

By: Michael Mike

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit of President Bola Tinubu to Qatar would go ahead as scheduled, adding that it was not ready to comment on the leak letter stating that the Business and Investment Forum planned by the Nigerian government during the visit would not hold.

The Ministry in a statement by its spokesperson, Fransisca Omayuli said it was “aware of the circulation of a diplomatic correspondence on the social media and wishes to state that it will not comment on leaks.”

The statement further read that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) will embark on a State Visit to Qatar from 2nd – 3rd March, 2024 to further cement the excellent relations existing between the two countries.

“During the visit, discussions will be held at the highest level, on a wide range of bilateral and economic issues.
The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar (OON), among some other Ministers and top government officials.

In a separate statement by the State House signed by Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, stated that the leak diplomatic paper was the activities of mischief makers and was never a snub of Qatar government of President Bola Tinubu.

Onanuga, in the statement said: “We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar between 2 and 3 March, 2024.

“The leaked diplomatic paper by mischief makers about an investment forum is not in any way a snub on President Tinubu by the Qatari government.”

He noted that: “The Note Verbale is about a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the margins of President Bola Tinubu’s State Visit.

“The event is being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry where business people from Nigeria will engage their counterparts from Qatar on commercial and investment opportunities available in both countries.

“We note the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and affirm that the State Visit by President Bola Tinubu to Qatar is on the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, His Highness, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.”

Onanuga added that: “The State Visit is particularly aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic cooperation between Nigeria and Qatar.

“NACCIMA and Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry are collaborating to take advantage of President Tinubu’s visit to Doha to mobilise the business community from our two countries to explore opportunities in key economic sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals and service sector, among others.”

He revealed that: “President Tinubu is expected to proceed to Qatar on the State Visit as scheduled and during the visit, the Nigerian leader will engage in high-level bilateral discussions with Qatari leader on many important matters, covering the full range of diplomatic and economic issues.

It is not correct for anyone to insinuate that the Qatari authorities have snubbed the Nigerian leader over a business and investment forum which is tangential to the all-important State Visit and which President Tinubu is slated to attend as a guest.”

He insisted that: “President Tinubu and His Highness Al-Thani are both committed to maintaining and building on the existing cordial and special relationship between Nigeria and the State of Qatar.”

Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Leak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

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