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UN @73: CISLAC urges increased implementation priority for SDGs in Nigeria

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As the world marks the Global Day of Action on SDGs, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) commemorates with the United Nations on its 73rd Anniversary, urging increased legislative priority and inclusive process in the implementation of SDGs.

In a statement Signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC Auwa Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) on Monday said that while the SDGs remains the globally ratified blue print to effectively drive development agenda and priorities, we find the critical roles of the legislators as paramount in actualising such priorities in Nigeria.

Rafsanjani said that as effective implementation of the SDGs requires greater transparency, accountability and political will, CISLAC calls on the legislators as custodians of the SDGs to promote, safeguard and strength oversight activities on implementation of the SDGs to high impact and efficiency at all levels.

According to the Executive Director, this syndicated action will enhance appropriate domestication and implementation of the SDGs by all levels of government with prioritised citizens’ engagements to promote sustainability and ownership.

He noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 aspirational “global goals” and 169 targets adopted in 2015 by the 193 UN member states. With strong commitment by member states to steer policy-making that would be incorporated into national planning processes and policies. The United Nations encouraged countries to define national targets tailored to their specific circumstances and identify locally relevant indicators and data sources that will be used to measure progress towards achieving each of the SDG targets by 2030.

Recalled that since independence, one of the inhibitors of Nigeria’s development and economic stride has been corruption. Which has caused the mismanagement of our natural resources, poor healthcare provision and education, insecurity and youth unemployment and restiveness. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society that it is becoming more of a lifestyle that corrupt individuals are praised and worshiped.

He noted that Nigeria in 2017 was projected to have 43,000 individuals owning assets worth at least 1 million USD. The country also boasts of 23 billionaires with collective wealth reaching almost 78 billion USD. As the number of millionaires and billionaires increases every year, the poverty rate continues to proliferate due to staggering inequality, illicitness and corruption. Much of this wealth in Nigeria by certain individuals stems from corruption and embezzlement. Corruption in Nigeria is outrageous and its growth has further sunk the economy and drowned many into poverty.

“CISLAC in the same year, with support from Transparency International (TI), presented a Shadow Report on SDG 16, which was a modest contribution to the monitoring of the SDG progress in Nigeria and aimed at providing independent and objective assessment and progress made under SDG 16, in particular targets 16.4, 16.5 and 16.10. The report responds to three key issues related to the official SDG monitoring processes: the multi-dimensional nature of SDG targets, data availability and perceived credibility of data generated by government agencies. Collectively, these limitations provide a strong rationale for an independent appraisal of the government’s anti-corruption efforts in the context of the SDGs” he stated.

Nigeria has ardently adopted the SDGs much more than it did with the MDGs and the National Assembly (NASS) has demonstrated strong leadership role and best practices on the SDGs by chairing the African Network of Parliamentarians on the SDGs, a pan-African advocacy group facilitated by the United Nations and establishing standing committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which are engaged with the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. However, there is still a lot to be done to ensure the prompt implementation of the SDGs, particularly SGD 16 are institutionalised in governance and systems.

CISLAC joined UN SDG Action Campaign (UNSDG-AC) to mark this year’s 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations through its Global Day to #Act4SDGs to call on stakeholders and citizens to amplify the impact of local and global actions for the SDGs by encouraging legislative and civic movement for the implementation and achievement of the SDGs.

“We also seek that the recommendations of the SDG 16 Shadow report be promptly given attention to and possible implementation.
The statement read further thus:

We call on the leadership of the National Assembly who have demonstrated commitment and guidance in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly SDG 16 to provide legal and legislative actions on targets 16.4, 16.5 and 16.10. NASS should also monitor and provide legislative oversight on the appropriation, release and management of funds to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) to enable them function effectively, transparently and accountably in implementing the SDGs.”

We also remind all stakeholders that time is of essence to begin implementing the SDGs and make it a priority as 3 years has passed after its adoption.

We call on civil society, the media and all other advocates not to be despondent in the advocacy and campaign for the goals but continue their multi-sectorial engagement, reporting and monitoring of the SDGs. They should never work in silos but work together combining resources, skills and ideas for the realization of the SDGs.

CISLAC and her partners remain committed and open to partner and provide technical support to other organizations. We will continue to ensure that processes leading to the implementation of the SDGs are transparent, accountable and effectively monitored because we believe the realization of the SDGs is everyone’s business and rest on the pockets of combined efforts of all of us while leaving no one behind.

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‎NGO trains 1000 vulnerable women, PLWHA on skills acquisition in Bauchi

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A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Bauchi Rahma Women Development Programme has trained 1000 vulnerable women and persons living with HIV/AIDS on various skills acquisitions.

Mrs Miriam Iliya the Executive Director Rahma Women Development made this known at the inauguration of Board of trustees in Bauchi on Friday.

“We embarked on the trainings in collaboration with the support of some international partners, the training was conducted within the period of nine months.

“The NGO was committed to make the trainees to become employers of labour in the future and be self reliance.

“The beneficiaries includes the People Living with HIV/AIDs and other vulnerable women whom were trained on different skills acquisitions such as Tailoring, Knitting, Barbing, Hair dressing saloon, Pomade and soap making and baking.

“We also give counselling to (PLWHA) to let them know that being positive is not the end of their lives and also disabuse their mind on the stereotype,”she said.

She however reminded the newly inaugurated board members that they are the custodians of the NGO and always to ensure right things goes in the right direction.

Earlier speaking the the Chairman Board of Directors Rahma Women Development Alhaji Bello Inuwa said the NGO had implemented several projects through international partners in various sectors that impact positively to the lives of people of Bauchi state.

“We carry out interventions in different various sectors such as health, education, water sanitation and hygiene, and micro finance credit facilities to women,” he said

Bello urged government at all levels to support local NGOs to improve the lives of the citizens: nothing that is only the NGOs that interact much with the grass roots people for implementation of projects.

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School teacher assaulted, manhandled by officers at Mabushi station

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A serving teacher with Dominion International School, Jabi, Abuja, Iorember Doolumun, recently reported that he was maimed by two men of the police force from Surveillance Unit, Mabushi Divisional Police Station while having breakfast in Gishiri Village.

Mr. Doolumun who revealed that he was still in a devastated mood, told journalist that he had only gone for a tea break in Gishiri Village when two armed men stormed the spot to order everyone to lie flat on the floor but despite his decent quest to ascertain the reason for such an assaultive invasion, he got loads of slaps and kick boots from the officers, who told him he was speaking too much grammar, noting that they were also graduates, before conveying him to the Gishiiri Police station in hand cuffs, to get two more slaps for explaining that he had asked a simple civil question.

He further disclosed that he was forced to append to a statement titled, ‘An assault on a police officer’, after which a fine of N10, 000 was paid by friends as ransome for his release, as he cautioned the federal government to quiz the status of such security men for the future of Nigeria, mostly as the 2019 elections are around the corner. He said:

“I went out to eat that morning at a spot in Gishiri village and it was barely minutes when I entered the place that two policemen from Surveillance Unit at Mabushi Divisional Police station invaded the restaurant and ordered everyone to lie flat on the floor.

“I politely asked why they had to assault innocent citizens but in response, they pounced on me with slaps on my ears and kickings all over, telling me they were also graduates before conveying me to the station, where the officer in-charge gave me two more slaps, saying I had assaulted police officers on duty.

“I was forced to write and sign a statement titled, ‘An assault on police officer’, before I was released on bail after payment of a N10, 000 as fine, and I can barely hear well with my ears even as I speak to you, and my limbs are even swollen from the battering.

“It’s very worrisome to think that these are the same supposed custodians of peace in the country and will be the ones to be used as security in the forthcoming elections.

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2019 Election: Journalist trained to combat fake news

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In the wake of digital social media journalism, Journalist have been urged to play the role of gate keepers to effectively combat the on surge of fake news through fact finding method, also report for public good during the 2019 general elections.

While conducting two day training for journalist, INEC and civil societies, with the theme Combating fake news and Disinformation in the 2019 General Elections, the Center for Democracy and Development CDC noted that media practitioners must be accountable and verify their news content before sending it out to the general public.

In a paper presentation by the Publisher Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi titled Mutations in accountable Journalism, he noted that good journalism helps provide citizens with information they need to make informed decisions about their choices, about being free and about effectively self-governing.

Stressing on the integrity of media to earn the confidence of the public, he added that the primary aim of journalism is an expansion of public good which in the long run will improve the integrity of the journalistic process and media must ensure that they report the general election with good conscience.

“The public must have confidence in the credibility of the media otherwise we run the risk of totally undermining the practice of journalism. In an age without gatekeepers, the need for judgment has become paramount and this is the case for news literacy because what information to believe and which sources to trust have become even more prominent. We need urgent mechanisms to sort the truth as the truth itself has come into peril” he explained.

He however urged Journalist to be accountable, verify all news items, debunk all false information, fake news, fact check and observe balance reporting during the general election for the peace of the country within during and after the elections.

Also speaking was CDD Senior Communications Officer Mr. Armsfree Ajanaku who stated that the training on combating fake news became imminent as Nigerians counts down to the general elections.

“As Nigeria counts down to the general elections, The Center for Democracy and Development CDD is working to combat fake news capable of undermining the integrity of the electoral process. The discipline of fact checking becomes critical at this point in the electoral process when political actors and their supporters could be inclined to spread fake news and misinform to gain political advantage.

“The training is to develop the skills of our core fact checkers, journalist and electoral commission with the capacity to spot and dispel all forms of fake news, misinformation and disinformation capable to affecting the peace in our country” he explained.

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