NGO recommends provision of infrastructures for 5 states
By Aderogba George
Abuja, Sept. 15, 2020 Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an NGO, has recommended as a matter of necessity, the provision of infrastructures for five states in Nigeria to better the lives and living conditions of the people.
The states listed at a news conference organised by the centre on Tuesday in Abuja are Adamawa, Ebonyi, Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Sokoto.
Mr Eze Onyekpere, the Lead Director of the centre, said the recommendation was based on a recent study tour by a team of experts sponsored by the centre as part of its activities to ensure social justice for all.
He said in Adamawa, it recommended the need to ensure a credible budgeting process by the state government through revenue forecast and empirical evidence.
“The study recommended the development of plans that will eliminate Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) and elimination of other violence against women and girls.’’
Onyekpere said the centre recommended capacity building for ministry of women affairs on gender sensitivity, collaboration among various agencies in the state on data reporting and engagement in sensitisation to change cultural attitude based on stereotypes on inferiority or superiority of women and men.
“It recommends capacity building and training for practitioners in the field such as investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement agents, judges, health and social workers and media practitioners to fully understand the dynamics of SGBV,’’ he said.
He said the based on the study, the centre called on the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to establish an office in the state.
“This is aside the desk office under the civil defense corps and the police, considering that Adamawa is sharing borders with neighbouring countries.’’
In Ebonyi, he said the centre recommended an improvement in budgetary allocations to relevant projects to relevant Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs).
According to the him, the study shows that budgetary allocations to relevant MDA to facilitate the elimination of SGBV is very meager.
Onyekpere said the centre also recommended capacity building on gender responsive budgeting and fund raising, improved coordination of projects by the Ministry of Women Affairs and a multi-sectoral and multi-agency approach to improved sensitisation of the people of the state.
He said it recommended that basic education must be universal and compulsory for all in line with the Universal Basic Act of 2004, civil society advocacy on SGBV and improved collaborations between the state government agencies and the Federal institutions.
In Lagos, he called for an open budgeting process with the publication of it full details, release all appropriated sums, collaboration of ministry of women affairs with relevant MDAs, capacity building on gender sensitive budgeting especially on SGBV and others.
He also called for sensitisation on inferiority or superiority of women and men through collaboration between MDAs, youth and sports, civil society, religious and traditional leaders.
He said the centre recommended capacity building and training for practitioners like investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement agents, judges, health and social workers and media practitioners to fully understand the dynamics of SGBV.
In the case of FCT, he said the centre recommended adequate funding for prenatal and postnatal for women with access to emergency obstetric, family planning good and services, for eradication of SGBV and FCT sexual and gender based violence response team for support and aids counseling.
Onyekpere called for funding of education of girls through universal basic education with second chance opportunity, higher education, adding that parents and guardians who refused to enroll their female children into basic education should be prosecuted.
According to the him, the centre recommended that budget preparation process must link policies for the achievement of objectives and meeting of targets with the requisite funds.
He recommended greater emphasis on improving sector performance, and that both recurrent and capital budgets need to be prepared using Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB).
He also called for the end of the current practice where activities were continuing from year to year, and resources were declining as a result of underfunding of these activities.
“In Sokoto, the centre recommended a prepared medium and long term costed multi-sectoral action plan for the elimination of SGBV, make budget more credible and responsive by using empirical evidence for revenue forecast.
“It called for an open budgeting process, capacity building for strategic implementation MDAs including Ministry of Women Affairs, collaboration between ministries, state planning commission, statistic agency and other MDAs.
“It recommended the establishment of SGBV response team in the state for a comprehensive response to SGBV challenges; provide referral services to survivors and to monitor the provision of quality forensic, medical, legal and psycho-social support to survivors,’’ he said.
Onyekpere called for enactment of the Child Right Act, Gender and Equal Opportunity Act, Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, and training of members of the state House of Assembly, especially the appropriation, finance, public account and women affair committee.
Other officials of the NGO at the news conference were Mr Fidelis Onyejegba, the Programme Officer and Public Finance Management and Mrs Eze Kasiemobi, Gender and Inclusivity Officer for the centre.