FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS (FMWA)
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 19TH REGULAR MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL EVENT CENTRE,THE DOME, ALAGBAKA AKURE, ONDO STATE: 28TH TO 31ST OCTOBER, 2019.
THEME: ''GENDER EQUALITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION: A PANACEA FOR PEACE, SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA''
1.0 The 19th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Women Affairs and Social Development (NCWASD) convened by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA), th st held from 28 through 31 October, 2019 in Akure, Ondo State. The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister, Her Excellency Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG. Representatives from 31 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, as well as other relevant MDAs, development partners and the Civil Society attended the meeting. The Council featured two sessions; Technical and Ministerial policy session. A total of 122 Memoranda were submitted and reviewed at the technical session. Ninety (90) of them were for action, while thirty-two (32) were for noting. Five (5) of the memoranda were stepped down.
2.1. Council observed as follows: The increasing adverse effect of climate change on women, children and other vulnerable Nigerians and need for proactive measure by States to mitigate the impact. The rising spate of drug abuse and misuse, especially among women and young persons and the urgent need to stop it. The various initiatives instituted by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to contribute towards achieving His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari's goal of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. The non-compliance on domestication and full implementation of the Child Rights Act, (2003) by eleven (11) States as an infringement on the fundamental rights of children in these affected States, namely: Borno, Yobe, Kebbi, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa and Sokoto. The increasing number of reported cases of rape and sexual exploitation in the country and the need to take proactive steps to curb the menace. The increased trend of child trafficking and proliferation of illegal rehabilitation homes across the country. The need to promote girl child education and adult literacy to contribute towards Nigeria's sustainable social-economic growth and development.
3.0. COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS:
3.1. Given above-stated observations, Council resolved that:
- There should be high level advocacy by the Honourable Minister and Commissioners for Women Affairs to relevant stakeholders to enhance effective implementation of the mandate of the Ministry; ii. All States and other relevant stakeholders should Key into the Federal Government's National Cooking Gas (NCG) Project and other activities that will mitigate adverse effects of climate change especially on women, children and other vulnerable groups in the country;
iii. All tiers of government should ensure gender main streaming and inclusion of Women in all spheres of life, eliminating all forms of discrimination against Women and gender based violence in Nigeria.
- All States should adopt and institute 'HeforShe' Campaigns and prioritize women empowerment programmes. Government at all levels should encourage women in agri-business and entrepreneurship. Government should enable women to have access to financial services and finances in order to deploy technology in production, processing and marketing agroallied products and other value added products nationwide;
- A Forum of the Honourable Minister and Commissioners for Women Affairs should be established to meet quarterly to engender robust discussions on challenges facing the Commissioners in line of duties and proffer appropriate solutions, also contribute towards accelerating the achievements of the targets of government's priority projects nationwide;
- The Child Rights Act, (2003) should be reviewed to address discrepancies observed in its implementation. State Governments should take proactive actions to address child trafficking, proliferation of illegal child rehabilitation centres and protect children from all kinds of abuses. More stringent penalties should be instituted to child sexual offenders. All States should establish the Child Trust Fund to enhance the welfare of children across the Federation;
vii. An Annual States Ranking (ASR) of Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development nationwide as well as MDAs that have gender matters under their purview in the States should be established to appraise gender initiatives and performance. Ranking teams to be established at the Federal and State levels;
viii. There should be more pragmatic and holistic approaches by various tiers of Government to tackle issues of drug and substance abuse among children and women in Nigeria;
- Programmes on care and support for the aged, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations should be implemented by all relevant government institutions at all levels;
- There should be deliberate actions by government and aggressive advocacy at all levels to promote girl-child education and adult literacy programmes nationwide;
- All States should adopt and domesticate Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, (2015) to tackle incidences of gender-based violence. States should establish Sexual Gender Based Violence Centres (SGBVC) in their various domains, with toll-free lines for reporting;
4.0. COMMENDATIONS AND AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE
In view of the life changing policies and programmes of the present administration, Council commended: i. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the various components of the Social Investment programmes, among others, channelled towards improving the lives and livelihood of the most vulnerable and the poorest in Nigeria. Council also appreciated His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for signing into Law, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2019.
- The Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and the good people of Ondo State for co-hosting the 19th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Women Affairs and Social Development. In recognition of excellent service towards improving the welfare of women, children and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria, Council conferred Awards of Excellence on the following distinguished Nigerians:
- Her Excellency, Dr (Mrs) Aisha Buhari, First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: honoured as '' SPECIAL CHAMPION'' FOR 'IMPLEMENTING INITIATIVES TO SUPPORT AND IMPROVE THE LIVELIHOOD OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND OTHER VULNERABLE PERSONS IN NIGERIA'.
- His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El' Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State: honoured as ''GIRL CHILD EDUCATION CHAMPION AMONG THE NORTHERN STATES OF NIGERIA'’
- His Excellency, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Governor of Kwara State: honoured as ''HEFORSHE GOVERNOR AND SOCIAL INVESTMENT CHAMPION'’
- His Excellency, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State: honoured as ''BEST PERFORMING STATE ON DOMESTICATION OF WOMEN RIGHTS INSTRUMENT-VAPP ACT, 2015'’
- His Excellency, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State: honoured as “HEFORSHE” GOVERNOR AND GIRL CHILD EDUCATION CHAMPION AMONG THE SOUTHERN STATES OF NIGERIA'’
- His Excellency Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of Ondo State: honoured for ''INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF APALARA MICRO-CREDIT SCHEME FOR WOMEN'’
- His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa-Ibom State: honoured as ''BEST CHILD RIGHTS ACT (2003) IMPLEMENTING GOVERNOR IN NIGERIA'’
- Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff: honoured as ''HEFORSHE AMBASSADOR'’
- Chief Dr (Mrs) Stella Chinyelu Okoli, CON, Managing Director/CEO Emzor Pharmaceutical Company Ltd: honoured for ''INVESTING IN WOMEN FOCUSSED INITIATIVES IN NIGERIA''.
5.1. Council appreciated the effort of all officials who contributed to the success of the 19 Council meeting and urged all stakeholders to ensure full implementation of the resolutions made at the meeting for the interest of Nigerian women, children and other vulnerable groups.
5.2. Finally, stakeholders agreed to accelerate the implementation of activities to achieve the common resolve of the Council in order to improve the livelihood of Nigerian women, children and other vulnerable groups nationwide.
Her Excellency, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG