The European Union and the United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative, in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Friday trained 40 female victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Abakaliki on skills acquisition to promote gender equality.
The UNFPA Representative in Ebonyi, Mr Benedict Essong, said that the four-day training in Abakaliki was decided by development partners to enable the women to actualise their potential and become independent.
According to Essong, the agencies, also in partnership with the Ebonyi Women Initiative for Acceleration (EBOWOIFA) aimed at improving the women means of livelihood.
He said “on behalf of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, we are pleased to partner with the state government through EBOWOIFA to ensure that there is gender equality and support means of livelihood for women.
“We are also proud to get the support of the state government to implement this activity through EBOWOIFA.”
The Director, EBOWOIFA, Dr Ngozi Obichukwu, said that the essence of the training was to ensure that women in the state were empowered.
Obichukwu, who is also the Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said that the women were trained on soap-making and would be issued with certificate and starter kits.
According to her, the participants, who are drawn from the three senatorial zones of the state, are expected to extend the teaching to other women at the grassroots.
She added that “the training and the starter kits are palliatives from EU-UN, UNFPA and other development partners to support income generating means of livelihood for women.”
She commended the agencies for the gesture and the state Governor, David Umahi, for providing an enabling environment for the programme.
The Wife of the Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi, encouraged the women to take advantage of the training to better their families and the society.
Umahi, who was represented by her Chief Press Secretary, Mr Donatus Owo, urged the women to take the exercise serious and make utmost use of the opportunity to achieve greatness.
One of the participants, Mrs Elizabeth Ojukwu, promised to organise a one-day meeting with women at the grassroots and teach them how to make soap.
She said “we at the grassroots will impact others with what we have learnt to improve their means of livelihoods.
“We are grateful and we commend the organisers for bringing such empowerment programme closer to women. It will go a long way to help women.”
Edited By: Joe Idika/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
30 stranded Nigerians in Lebanon rescued, among 150 awaiting evacuation – NIDCOM
Thirty Nigerians, who were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon have been rescued, and are among a total of 150 victims awaiting evacuation to Nigeria.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) made this known in a statement by Gabriel Odu of its Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit on
The commission said the rescue came after a video footage of the stranded Nigerians making an appeal to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid viral on the Internet.
According to it, the appeal for help by the stranded Nigerians led to their rescue by officials of the country’s mission in Lebanon.
The stranded Nigerians have already been relocated to a more conducive apartment.
“They will be part of 150 others to be evacuated to Nigeria after they were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon.
“The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab disclosed the evacuation plans when the Management of NIDCOM, led by the Secretary, Dr Sule Bassi, visited that country’s mission in Abuja,” Odu said in the statement.
He quoted Diab as saying that the 150 girls would be returned home in batches with the first group of 110 people leaving Beirut for Lagos on Aug. 12.
The second batch sws expected to arrive Abuja on Aug. 16.
“The diplomat commended efforts of the Lebanese Community and the Oyo State Government who is sponsoring the return of 55 of the girls,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the NIDCOM Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Secretary of the commission, who acknowledged the excellent ties between Nigeria and Lebanon, urged both countries to sustain the cordial relationship.
Bassi also lauded the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Amb. Goni Madu Zanna Bura for his dedication and commitment.
He also commended the staff of the Nigerian mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun state governments and other strategic partners for their efforts.
“As part of the Nigerian Embassy’s Consular responsibility, the ladies in the said video that went viral and many other distressed Nigerian domestic workers were located and relocated to a safer place.
“Suffice it to say that 150 of these stranded victims are expected to be evacuated next week and handed over to NAPTIP, the agency responsible for (dealing with human) trafficking.
“A break down of the evacuees shows that Oyo State had 41, Ogun 21, Lagos 12, Ondo 18, Osun 26, and Imo 3.
Others are Kwara– 9, Enugu — 1, Ekiti — 6, Kogi — 1, Edo — 1, Delta — 3, Ebonyi — 1, Benue — 1, Abia — 1, Akwa Ibom — 1, and Anambra — 1,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
EEDC nabs 2 suspected electricity installation vandals
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it nabbed two notorious electricity installation vandals in Osisioma community near Aba, Abia, along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
EEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh, told newsmen in Enugu on Tuesday, that the duo had been handed over to the Osisioma Police Station, Abia, for interrogation and further investigation.
Ezeh said that the two suspected vandals were caught red handed and apprehended on Aug. 3, by members of Osisioma Electricity Committee while vandalising electricity cables belonging to the company.
According to Ezeh, last month, a suspect was arrested by youths of Amichi community for vandalizing Ebenasa 300KVA 33/0.415KV distribution substation, located at Amichi.
“Part of the items recovered from the suspects included: 4 feeder pillar bars, 4 feeder pillar units and 3 feeder pillar fuses.
“It was also gathered that the suspects’ accomplice fled and is currently at large.
“However, effort is on to get him arrested along with the identified buyer, who is in possession of 300mm 2 x 4 single core upriser cables, 10 meters earthen wire, as well as some bolts and nuts,” he said.
In a similar development, the EEDC spokesman said that one suspect was arrested by members of Ogbu Edda community, Ebonyi, for vandalising a 300KVA 33/0.415KV distribution substation, located in the community.
“The suspect was caught in possession of 150mm-2 upriser cable and has been handed over to the Afikpo South Divisional Police Headquarters for further investigations,’’ he said.
Ezeh said that the company had been expressing concerns, over the rising cases of vandalism within its network, and had appealed to customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that the installations serving them were not vandalised.
The EEDC spokesman however, commended the youths of Amichi, people of Ogbu Edda community, Ebonyi and members of Osisioma electricity committee, for their support in apprehending the suspected vandals.
Ezeh said that the company would work closely with the police to ensure that the suspects were prosecuted so that the law could take its course.
“The activities of these vandals not only affect our organisation’s finances, but adversely impact on the quality of services to our customers who are subjected to darkness and untold hardship whenever the electrical installations serving them are vandalised.
“We are not relenting in our effort in tackling the growing trend of vandalism and also call on well-meaning and law-abiding customers to join hands in this fight,’’ he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Ebonyi govt pledges to promote breastfeeding, provides crèches, jingles
The Ebonyi Government has pledged to do everything possible to encourage breastfeeding among young mothers in the state to improve child and maternal survival.
The Commissioner for Health in Ebonyi, Dr Daniel Umezurike disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing to mark 2020 World Breastfeeding Week in Abakaliki.
Umezurike revealed that the state government considered the feeding critical by creating public awareness campaigns and jingles with support from partners to advocate breastfeeding in the state.
The commissioner also disclosed that civil servants who were nursing mothers in the state had been observing four months paid maternity leave to encourage breastfeeding.
He said that wife of the Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi had established creches in the women development centre and strategic locations to enhance appropriate feeding.
“This is for mother to get close to their children, even at work so that they can breastfeed intermittently.
He added that they were also allowed after the leave resumption to close at mid-day to enable them return home to their babies to feed them appropriately.
“Breastfeeding is most important way of improving child and maternal survival. We take this very seriously.
“We do all these to encourage, protect and support breastfeeding in the state,” Umezurike said.
According to him, malnutrition is a challenge that reduces production of breast milk, when nursing mother are not properly fed.
Umezurike added that such families to include the downtrodden and widows were supported by Mrs Umahi to ensure family health were protected in the state.
He further stated that COVID-19 pandemic had affected activities, food production, consumption practices degrading land and ecosystems among others, thus every steps taken across life cycle to mitigate environmental degradation and climate crisis.
He stated that the pandemic had demonstrated that the global world interdepend and dependent on same planet, thus needs a healthy planet with support of breastfeeding.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner disclosed current situation report of COVID-19 in the state, saying that total confirmed cases is 871, deaths 25, discharged 804 and active cases is 36.
“We have three isolation centers and some on home isolation,” Umezurike said.
The Baby Friendly Initiative Coordinator in the ministry of Health, Mrs Beatrice Ojinkama described breastfeeding as foundation of live.
Ojinkama gave advantages of initiating breastfeeding to include serving as first immunization for a child to survive, help remove reserved placenta, help in family planning among others processes.
She called on the media to assist partners and the ministry in achieving the scheme.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Revised NDC will impact Nigeria’s climate, economic development, says Environmentalist
An Environmental Expert, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, says the revision of the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) has the potential to impact Nigeria and Africa’s climate change policy and economic development.
Okereke, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
He stated that the ongoing revision of NDC would produce a robust document that could help to drive sustainable green economic development for the country.
According to him, there are several environmental experts that consider Nigeria’s original NDC quite ambitious.
“Some might say that Nigeria ought to demonstrate leadership by increasing its ambition.
“Others might say that the priority for the country for now should be on rebooting its economic growth.
“A critical question to ask is to what extent Nigeria has actually implemented the NDC that it pledged in 2015?
“And what are the environmental, social and economic benefits that have accrued to the country as a result.
“It is important to ensure that Nigeria is not simply making commitments it has no intention of achieving simply to please the developed countries that are financially supporting the NDC revision process,” he said.
Okereke stated that some experts asserted that the preparation of the original NDC, which started in late June 2015, was rushed to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deadlines.
“One implication was that some of the data and analyses on which the NDC was based relied on grey literature and are judged very suspect.
“For example, in the absence of a national emission registry, the emissions from most of the key sectors (energy, transport and forestry) on which the NDC was based were best guess projections,” he said.
The professor added that the previous NDC preparation process had limited public engagement, thus hindered the country from receiving inputs from critical stakeholders like business moguls, parliamentarians and sub-national actors.
“Till date, many of these stakeholders have remained largely unaware of or had limited involvement in the implementation of the NDC.
“Moreover, with limited public awareness of, and engagement with the development of the original NDC, there was not much from the civil society in the way of monitoring the implementation (or lack) of the NDC following its ratification in 2017,” he said.
Okereke said that in the original NDC, Nigeria committed itself to make 20 per cent “unconditional emission reduction” of its Greenhouse Gas emission by 2030 compared to the 2010 levels.
Okereke noted that Nigeria further committed that it would increase her emission reduction to 45 per cent by 2030 if help was received from the international development partners.
He stated that Nigeria’s NDC was built on the appealing philosophy of pursuing socioeconomic development while reducing carbon pollution.
Okereke added that NDCs are voluntary documents that governments agreed that parties to the UNFCCC would submit to show what each government had committed to do in order to tackle climate change.
He, however, said that though the submission and commitment are voluntary, once a country submitted their NDC, they were expected to keep the commitment or pledge made.
Okereke noted that Nigeria started the process of revising her NDC in March 2020 and would be due to conclude the exercise in November.
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)