A digital Rights Advocacy Group, Paradigm Initiative (PI), on Tuesday said that its flagship digital inclusion Programme, Life skills ICT Financial Readiness and Entrepreneurship (LIFE), would be expanded across seven states in four regions.
This was disclosed at a media briefing organised by PI in Lagos where it stated that the expansion would train and expose 290 young boys and girls across its training centres.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the LIFE programme put together by PI is to educate the youth in underserved areas digitally to make them employable and as well as create employment.
Mr Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, PI, said that it was part of the roll out plans for the year 2020 and also part of efforts to bridge gender divide in digital era in Nigeria.
According to him, there will also be a two-week Girls’ code camp in August across the centres in Nigeria.
He said that PI would host a digital readiness workshop to train senior secondary school girls in underserved communities in practical from those communities.
“The other track of our digital inclusion programme is the Dufuna code Camp, Lagos-based six months hands on project centric software engineering training programme for recent graduates.
“The digital rights and inclusion media fellowship is a 5-month programme designed to immerse selected journalists across all media in digital rights and advocacy and intervention in Africa.
“The fellowship aims to build a crop of media professionals with a heightened understanding of digital rights and inclusion, who, in turn would increases the public awareness of digital rights and inclusion,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Boye Adegoke, Digital Rights Programme Manager, said that the year 2020 would host Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) with the aim of hosting innovative learning and around digital rights.
He said that PI would continue advocacy of digital rights across Africa which include pushing for digital rights laws across the continent and making interventions on draft laws and policy touching on digital rights.
Mr Oluwatosin Abolaji, Digital Inclusion Programme Manager, said that the programme which aimed at providing digital inclusion for underserved youths had touched lives.
Abolaji said that it had also empowered the youth economically who in turn had contributed to the homes.
He said that the expansion of the digital inclusion would be at Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Kastina and Jigawa in addition to Lagos-Ajegunle, Aba and Kano.
The Digital right experts said that much was done in 2019 in terms of advocacy and that strategic litigation would be witnessed in 2020 to defend those whose digital rights were violated.
Edited by: Remi Koleoso/Donald Ugwu
Group seeks inclusion of persons with disability into Edo Covid 19 committee
The Edo chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), is seeking inclusion of Persons With Disability (PWD) in the state government Covid-19 committee for fair representation.
The chairman of JONAPWD, Edo chapter, Mr Henry Ebose, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Tuesday.
Ebose said the inclusion of PWD into the Covid 19 committee would give a fair representation of the challenges the disability community were facing in the state during the pandemic.
He said such members in the committee would ensure that the Covid 19 isolation centres were disability structurally compliant.
“For instance, the first step of making isolation centres disability friendly is ensuring accessibility for PWDs.
“Also the nature of the bed facilities should suit PWDs”.
He also lauded the continued use of sign language interpretations by the government while passing information about Covid 19 to the public.
“The sign language interpretation should not only be used when the Covid 19 committee is giving a report but also during all government announcements as regards the Covid 19 pandemic,” he said.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)
COVID-19: Group donates improved sorghum seeds to 20,000 female farmers in Kano, Katsina
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Adefunke Desh Nigeria Ltd., in partnership with 2-Scale Programme
on Tuesday started the distribution of improved white sorghum seed to female farmers in Nasarawan-Kuki, Bebeji Local Government Area
of Kano State.
The Programme Manager of 2-Scale Programme, Mr Olisa Maxwell, said the distribution was aimed at supporting over 20,000 female farmers with improved
white sorghum seed to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maxwell, who said that sorghum was one of the vital grains needed for good nutrition for women and children, noted that the crop was an arable commodity and could
attract a lot of foreign exchange for the country.
He added that the improved white sorghum seeds was produced by Premier Seed company, mainly for female farmers in the two clusters.
According to him, the two clusters are Kuki Cluster in Bebeji Local Government of Kano State and Funtua Cluster in Katsina State, noting that
“the company targets 1,000 hectares of farm land in the clusters.
“The company is planning to bring Lapo Microfinance Bank to support the farmers with soft loans to enable them to purchase fertilizers.”
Mr Adeshola Michael, the Managing Director of Adefunke Desh Nigeria Ltd., said that the company decided to support female farmers in the area
to cushion the COVID-19 devastating effect on the farmers’ livelihood.
He said: “the company is one of the leading agro-allied companies based in Zaria, Kaduna State, and part of our corporate social responsibilities
is to ensure that the farming season still goes on, hence our partnership with 2-Scale Programme.”
The managing director, who restated the company’s commitment to sustain the gesture enjoined farmers to follow the right agronomist practice while using the seed for best yield.
The District Head of Bebeji, Alhaji Tijjani Kuki, commended the company for the gesture, adding that the efforts would boost food security and reduce poverty in the area.
Represented by Alhaji Magaji Tijjani, the district head said that the gesture was in tandem with the aspirations of the state and Federal Government and
urged the beneficiaries to use the seeds judiciously.
A beneficiary, Mrs Alice John, a resident of Nasarawan Kuki, said there were many female sorghum farmers in the area, adding that some women
cultivate more than five hectares of sorghum.
She said that prior to the intervention by Adefunke Desh Nigeria Ltd. and 2-Scale programme, a hectare of sorghum produced about four to five bags of sorghum.
She explained that the two companies had trained women farmers on how to increase their yield, “and we have now learnt new ways of sorghum culvivation
and can get about 15 bags of sorghum from one hectare of land.”
She commended the companies for the improved seed donation, saying it was timely because they had not finished planting.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: Group donates rice to physically challenged, elderly in Edo community
A Group known as Ten-in-One Social Club, Benin, on Monday, donated bags of rice to the physically challenged and the elderly in Oza-Aibiokunla, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo.
Presenting the items at the Oza Aibiokunla, the President of the club, Mr Solomon Ediae, said the donation was to enhance the living condition of the physically challenged and the elderly in the community.
Ediae said the donation was to cushion the effect of the partial COVID-19 lockdown by the state government on the vulnerable and their families in the community.
He said the club choose to donate the rice to them because they could not go to farms but depended on their subjects for support.
“The visit is a normal routine exercise of the club to put smiles on faces of the people especially the vulnerable.
“We are here today to show you love and for you to know that you are not neglected, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic era.
“The Ten-in-One group is a social and philanthropic club with the aim of helping the less privileged and its members in distress,” he said
Appreciating the group, the head of the community, Pa John Okunbor, commended the effort of the group for the donation and prayed for the members.
Okunbor urged other public spirited individuals and organisations to assist in alleviating the suffering of the vulnerable in the community.
‘We want to sincerely thank you for this initiative at this crucial time that we all find ourselves.
“I must say I am really impressed with the gesture to us, particularly to some of us who cannot afford anything, especially this COVID-19 pandemic period,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Insecurity: Group urges FG to declare state of emergency in Katsina
The indigenous people of Katsina State resident in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have urged the Federal Government to declare a State of Emergency in the state, following the high level of insecurity there.
The group under the aegis of Concerned Katsina Youth Vanguard, expressed concern over the rising spate of violence, crime and killing of innocents in the state.
Addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, Deputy Spokesman of the group, Alhaji Shamsudeen Faskari, said the incessant killings in Katsina were a testament to the fact that the state government could no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property of people and residents of the state.
According to Faskari, residents of Katsina are living in palpable fear, as security agencies in the state appear helpless, stressing that the situation had reached an unimaginable level.
He warned that if the Federal Government failed to take over the state, the recent insecurity might pose a threat to national security.
“Precisely in December 2019, we spoke explicitly through the media, on the state of armed attacks, kidnappings and cattle rustling in Dutsin-ma Local Government Area (LGA), of Katsina State.
“On that occasion, we came up with a catalog of 29 different cases of bandit attacks, just in the month of December, 2019 alone.
“However, we observed that after the landmark press conference, normalcy was partially restored to the area.
“Regrettably, that relative peace was cut short as bandit attacks resumed in full swing in March, 2020, extending their operations to other parts of the state.
“We have watched with a heavy heart, how our people are being slaughtered like sheep and goats.
“We have also watched helplessly how communities are being invaded and how families and kindred are being wiped out by bandits, while security agencies appear helpless.
“We have crossed the Rubicon and there is no turning back. Therefore, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, impose a state of emergency in the state.
“The Federal Government should takeover the security apparatus of the state until lives and property of citizens are guaranteed. The lives of our people are far more precious than any office.
“In the case that the government fails to take immediate action towards restoration of peace in the state, the people may resort to self-defence, and which may result in a threat to national peace and security.
“We do not pray that Nigeria gets to that level of lawlessness because we have too many battles on our hands as a nation,” Faskari stated.
He, however, blamed the state government for the spate of insecurity in the state, noting that the cease-fire deal reached with the bandits had not yielded any result.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)