Archives

Press Release – NNNGO Partners TechSoup to Provide Affordable Technology to CSOs in Nigeria

Press Release – NNNGO Partners TechSoup to Provide Affordable Technology to CSOs in Nigeria

The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) has partnered the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to provide technological tools at discounted prices to nonprofits organisations in Nigeria under the TechSoup West Africa technology donation programme. TechSoup West Africa is a technology donation programme which provides technical support and technological tools to nonprofit organisations across West Africa at little or no cost.

NNNGO’s partnership with WASCI will provide services to Nigerian Nonprofits through technology donation, training and technical assistance at subsidized rates thus, creating a system through which Nonprofits can become more productive and efficient through access to advanced technology.

Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, the Executive Director of WACSI, noted that “this is an opportunity CSOs/NGOs in Nigeria should take full advantage of. It offers the chance to get otherwise expensive but also relevant software for CSOs/NGOs at heavily discounted prices, and enables them to save funds that they can reinvest into other core operational costs. It’s a win-win either way!”

CSOs will be afforded the opportunity to offset their operations cost from IT equipment and infrastructure to support their social mission. This opportunity will strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of CSOs to become more collaborative, responsive and resilient through the use of technology thereby putting Nigerian nonprofits on the map towards global recognition and sustainability.

The Executive Director, NNNGO, Oyebisi, B. Oluseyi noted that “NNNGO is interested in initiatives that build the capacity and improve the quality of work within civil society. This partnership with WACSI is a welcome development and will positively impact the sector”.

Since inception, TechSoup and its global partners have reached more than one million and twenty thousand nonprofit organisations and donated over 10.1billion USD in technological tools and philanthropic services. TechSoup is present in more than 236 countries and territories across the globe and has been implemented in Northern, Eastern and Southern Africa.

To receive discounted product as low as 4-5% of their retail value, kindly visit www.techSoup.global , register your organisation and place an order.

Contacts

nnngo@nnngo.org or call 09069460107

2019 Letter to Nonprofit Leaders

2019 Letter to Nonprofit Leaders

Dear Nonprofit Leader,

As we reflect on the sector in 2018, we think about how the work you have done in communities across the country have touched and inspired hope in the less privileged. We have been most influenced by your resilience, empathy for the downtrodden and found motivation in how you are doing so much with very little resources.

Twenty-seven years ago, when our founding mothers and fathers first began to work on the idea that would become the Nigeria Network of NGOs, they were convinced as much as we are now, that nonprofits play an important role in the fabrics of our development and democracy as a nation. They believed that the resources and approaches of the sector if well leveraged by government and the private sector can have a bigger impact together in the attainment of our national development goals than in silos.

They imagined a Network that can improve the operational environment for nonprofits to thrive. In the last 5 years we have had the opportunity of translating this imagination to reality through our sustained engagement with the executive and legislative arms of Government on the operations of nonprofits. In May 2018, we were proud to see the results of our work in the repeal and reenactment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which included our recommendations for the review of the Part C which is now Part F of CAMA in the version passed by the Senate.

As we look into 2019, three key challenges stand out for our sector, testing our values.

Our ability as a sector to remain non-partisan

With the 2019 elections only few weeks away, our sector will need to balance its strong links to beneficiaries and more generally to the bottom billion, high level command of public trust and confidence with the political preferences of nonprofit leaders. It is essential to note that nonprofits cannot give their support to a political party or candidate. How our sector manages itself especially in demarcating between activism, advocacy campaign and political campaign will be tested in 2019 and will serve as a benchmark for the 2023 elections.

Civil Society Diversity

Our differences in opinion, perspectives and understanding of issues while an asset will continue to test our common stand on issues such as rights to freedom of speech, assembly and association. We are witnessing a growing trend in our inability to stand up for each other and to clearly define what the protection of civic space means to our sector and our organisations. Our sector will be challenged on how it responds (collectively) to the arrest and prosecution of human right defenders especially those perceived to have political affiliations and interests including how we rally support for nonprofit organisations (local and international) that may be labelled or victimized as anti-government for their work on protecting the rights of the disadvantaged.

Family

Civil society, being an array of organisations outside of government and private sector, derives its strength from the family unit. Our beliefs and thoughts on family planning will shape how as organisations and leaders we support the need for Nigeria to focus energies on managing its population dynamics through improved funding by the Federal, State and Local Governments to family planning programmes- allocated from their domestic resources. It is increasingly clear that our rate of population growth will continue to lead to hunger, malnutrition, housing shortage, inequality and increased crime rate.  Our sector will be challenged by how civil society actors, influencers, leaders and institutions within civil society understand the role of family planning in attaining the SDGs and in coalescing around initiatives that call for increased funding to family planning programmes and services.

Addressing these challenges will be our focus in 2019 at the Nigeria Network of NGOs. Rallying sector leaders around proffering solutions to these challenges, navigating through their wisdom, integrity and influence including coalescing for better results and impacts are the key successes we want to see in 2019.

Certainly, this will be a “long walk to freedom”. We are confident that with you, the journey will be short, adventurous as well as challenging; but in the end, VICTORY WILL BE CERTAIN.

Thank you for coming with us on this journey!

Oyebisi, B. Oluseyi

Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practical Guide on Writing Annual Reports For Nonprofits

Practical Guide on Writing Annual Reports For Nonprofits

This guide has been developed to help nonprofits who are new to writing annual reports to easily get the process started while staying transparent. If properly done, annual reports are an important tool for keeping stakeholders informed about your activities and to keep them engaged. Developed based on our experience at the Nigeria Network of NGOs, this guide offers information on how to plan and create valuable engaging annual report that you can submit to regulators and one that your friends, donors, beneficiaries and other stakeholders would want to read.

download-icon Download

Beware of the NesProgram implying association with the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

Beware of the NesProgram implying association with the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs has been made aware of various correspondences being circulated via e-mail, from Internet websites, text messages and via regular mail associating us with NESprogram at https://nesprogram.com We are alarmed by the false and unauthorized use of our logo on the NESprogram website and all communications related to this organisation.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs wishes to warn the public at large about our non-association with the NESprogram/and or its official and to note that the Nigeria Network of NGOs is not in any way associated and neither are we sponsors of the NESprogram.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs does not run such schemes and strongly recommends that recipients of any correspondence from the NESprogram should exercise extreme caution in respect of such. We encourage anyone having issues with the NESprogram to report directly to the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering via info@scuml.org .

We have written officially to NESprogram through helpdesk@nesprogram.ng asking for the removal of our logo from its website at https://nesprogram.com/ and all communications products that may have our logo. We have also reached out to Tucows Domains Inc registrants for this website to report this abuse. We are aware that this site was registered by Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0153041206 with telephone number +1.4165385457 and nesprogram.com@contactprivacy.com , we are now asking our lawyers to contact our Canadian counterparts to take necessary legal actions.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs remains committed to its vision of promoting interconnectivity at the grassroots, provide opportunities for CSOs/NGOs/CBOs and PVOs to contribute to the advancement of national and global peace through developmental activities focused at the grassroots, whilst networking with each other and other national and international agencies, with the aim of meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

NNNGO 2018 SECOND QUARTER UPDATES (APRIL-JUNE)

INTRODUCTION

In the second quarter of the year 2018, the Nigeria Network of NGOs, in line with its mission and vision, intensified efforts towards national development through its ongoing projects and activities. Projects built upon were within the purview of protection of civic space, building capacity within the Nigerian civil society community and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while other activities in line with national development were also organised and supported by the Network.

UPDATE ON PROJECTS

Projects updates are presented below, in categories that fit their themes:

  1. PROTECTION OF CIVIC SPACE
  • Strengthening Statutory Regulations for Civil Society Organisations In Nigeria: Amending Part C of CAMA

In line with its mission to protect civic space, the Network continued work on projects that focused on strengthening the laws that guide activities and the environment in which civil society organisations and nonprofits work. Therefore, with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation and as part of activities for the “Strengthening Statutory regulations For Civil Society Organisations In Nigeria: Amending Part C of CAMA” project, and in the wake of the repeal and enactment of Part C of the CAMA by the House of Assembly on May 15, 2018, NNNGO carried out activities that informed the progress of the project.

After careful review of the amended sections of Part C of the CAMA which was spearheaded by the Corporate Affairs Commission, the NNNGO-CAMA research team identified that the amended laws had featured and incorporated some of the recommendations made by the Network and its members at sector-wide consultations held in 2017. Suggestions and recommendations that were made at these consultations were thereafter incorporated into policy briefs which were then presented to policymakers by the NNNGO-advocacy team led by the Executive Director, Oyebisi B. Oluseyi.

Taken into consideration were recommendations in the area of review of penalties, refusal to incorporate organisations with similar names, the requirement for a statement of purpose, name and relevant information needed for registration, amongst others. Below is a break-down of the amended sections that feature NNNGO recommendations:

Clarifications:

Section 580 features the need for the commission to state the purposes, name and relevant information needed for registration by NPOs who need registration. This amendment drew from the suggestion made by NNNGO to 590(5) of the previous law.

Review of Fines:

In line with suggestions made by member-NPOs who participated in the consultations, Sections 581, 582 and Section 604, subsection 3, feature review of fines from previous incommensurate amounts in terms of comparison of crime to penalties. NPOs who attended consultations hosted by NNNGO had suggested that in order for organisations working in the civic space to better understand the enormity of noncompliance, adequate punitive measures need to be attached.

Related Association:

Section 587 of the amended law is same as the suggestion made in subsection (6) of section 590 of the old law which stated that a corporation having a similar name with another corporation would not be incorporated. The amendment to the law makes this dictate clearer to intending registrees.

Financials

Amended Section 602 is same as the suggestion made to section 607(10)2,3 by the NNNGO in the policy briefs presented which stated that there should be an annual financial review and that there should be an approved annual financial statement by the director. In addition, Section 604, subsection 2 of the amended law features the recommendation made to section 607(11)1 by NNNGO where it was stated that there must be a report on the audited financial statement by the corporation which will be in line with the approved auditing standards and principles set by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

Another milestone recorded in this quarter was the development of a toolkit by the NNNGO-CAMA research team. The toolkit was developed after a thorough review of the annual returns-filing processes, conduct of in-depth research and online as well as offline consultations with over 2,000 Nigerian NPOs on how best to engage the process of incorporating a trusteeship alongside appropriate fees, setting up a governing board within an organisation and appointing an executive director and directors.

The purpose of developing the kit is to create a document which can serve in the capacity of a compliance manual through which NPOs could better understand the dictates of Part C of CAMA and therefore, effectively carry out their obligations and duties as stipulated in the laws. The kit is also intended to act in the capacity of a check for NPOs in order to effectively run their organisations in line with global best practices.

The toolkit will be launched and presented to NPOs who are member-organisations of the Network at training that will be hosted in Port Harcourt and Kaduna.

  • The Lifeline Project supported by World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS

In continuance of the campaign to protect civic space and strengthen regulatory frameworks guiding the operational environment of Nigerian nonprofits, NNNGO with the support of World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS continued its campaign against the NGO regulation bill (HB 585).

The Network intensified efforts to popularise the campaign by leveraging on the strength of numbers. This was done by including other CSOs, NGOs and NPOs, especially those at the grassroots; to achieve this, over 2400 grassroots, national and international nonprofit organisations were reached via emails and text messages with over 900 reached via telephone calls with the message to join the campaign against the enactment of the NGO regulatory bill.

These organisations were encouraged to reach out to their representatives at the National Assembly by sending them letters which would carry their individual messages regarding the bill. To this effect, interested NPOs were sent a sample letter which served as the campaign tool. This a sample campaign letter was drafted based on the outcome of a sector-wide consultation conducted by the Network with nonprofit organisations operational in Nigeria in 2017. The sample letter was a template through which NPOs interested in the campaign could make a case by giving their representatives an overview of their organisations and how the enactment of HB585 would impact the work they do.

As part of activities for the lifeline project, the Network, on June 28, 2018, organised a workshop which 78 participants from 11 states of the country, and one participant from the United States of America. The aim of the workshop was to examine the trending policies in the Nigerian nonprofit sector while focusing on ways to ensure the development and sustainability of the sector. Participants at the workshop were taken through a course on NGO management and record keeping. A report titled “Nonprofits Regulatory Trends” was then produced.

  • Universal Periodic Review Supported by World Alliance for Citizen Participation, CIVICUS

In the first quarter of 2018, NNNGO, supported by CIVICUS, submitted a Universal Period Review (UPR) relating to Civic Space in Nigeria. Following this submission and in the run-up to Nigeria’s review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC in November 2018, NNNGO embarked on advocacy in relation to the UPR process. The aim of this was to assess the level of implementation of previous recommendations made to Nigeria by UNHRC during the second review cycle and to take appropriate steps toward the implementation of recommendations accepted by Nigeria especially in relation to civic space.

Therefore, a one-day workshop on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Advocacy Strategy was hosted by the Network on June 6, 2018, in order to sample the opinion of CSOs. The workshop gathered seventy-one (71) participants comprising member non-profit organisations of the Network, CSOs, and Centres for developments, actively involved in human rights activism.

To this effect, an agenda was mapped out and delineated into four key areas. The purpose of this was to incorporate the key essentials of the UPR and garner participants’ responses and feedbacks, according. An overview which included insights on the previous (2nd) UPR of Nigeria was provided by the NNNGO-UPR researcher; it included information on the reinstatement of the 219 recommendations by 88 states made to Nigeria; 184 were accepted and 35 were noted. Accordingly, Nigeria received 10 recommendations relating to civic space, all of which were accepted to be implemented.

Furthermore, an analysis of the recent UPR report was carried out and participants noted that the methodology is adopted for the research. It was also noted that the initial 10 recommendations received by the Nigerian government in the previous UPR relating to civic space had not been fully implemented. Insights on why it was important for the civil society to be actively involved in the UPR process were therefore made.

A break-out session was then held for Advocacy Strategy Planning. Here, participants were split into four groups to develop a strategic plan for the UPR using the SMART Advocacy Strategy Worksheet. In this brainstorming session, participants provided answers on who to involve in implementing the strategy,  their SMART objectives, identified the policymakers related to their set objectives, reviewed their context on what is already happening outside their organisation that may impact their strategy (presenting obstacles and opportunities), gave a better knowledge of their decision makers (i.e. what they value and how best to gain their support), they considered various ways to argue their case (providing evidence to support their objectives, completing a five-point message box for their decision makers and determined the messenger for each decision maker). A work plan and budget on how to access internal resources, specify advocacy activities and assign responsibilities; how to set benchmarks for success and concluded by reviewing assignments and next steps on how to implement the UPR were also drawn up at the workshop.

The breakout session ushered in the plenary session, where participants presented varied views on how best the advocacy strategy should be carried out. The workshop concluded by affirming the need for all stakeholders especially CSOs and NGOs to be actively involved in the UPR process to ensure the rights of people are not clamped down and the government implements the accepted recommendations through advocacy and awareness creation.

  1. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
  • Citizens’ Report Initiative

As part of its work on Sustainable Development, the Nigeria Network of NGOs with the support of African Monitor continued implementation of the citizens’ report project. In the second quarter of 2018, the NNNGO team which comprised a focal point, four youth champions and a research consultant embarked on citizens’ hearings and survey in three communities from three states across the country.

Between June 1-3, 2018, the NNNGO team conducted a community entry and project launch in Malete community, Moro LGA of Kwara state. This was a reconnaissance visit to the community by the team aimed at introducing the project to leaders of the community and providing a general framework for implementation of the project.

On June 11, 2018, a citizens’ hearing in form of a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was conducted on 72 community members of Malete community while the survey was conducted on 200 households within that community between June 12 and 15, 2018.

Reconnaissance for the second community, Ogor community in Ughelli-North LGA of Delta state was conducted between June 18-19, 2018 while the citizens’ hearing was conducted on June 26, 2018. Survey instruments in form of the questionnaire were administered to 200 households within the community by the NNNGO team between June 26- 30, 2018.

  • Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health@ Scale (PACFaH@Scale)

In the first quarter of 2018, NNNGO with the support of development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) began implementing the PACFaH@Scale (PAS) project under the NNNGO-PACFaH@Scale (NNNGO-PAS) brand name. The program which focuses on two areas; RI Financing Strategy & FP Funding in Lagos state was launched with the hosting of a CSO mapping meeting in the first quarter of the year. After the success of a CSO mapping conducted in view of incorporating the civil society into RI issues in Lagos state, a report was developed.

The second quarter of 2018, thus featured the production of the CSO mapping report as well as Policy Briefs on RI and FP funding. These documents were developed as part of advocacy tools to be used in monitoring the implementation of the RI 2018 budget.

Subsequently, the NNNGO-PAS Policy briefs on RI and FP funding in Lagos State were presented to the Director Medical Services, Lagos state and other key officials in the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (PHCB).

As part of activities included in the NNNGO-PAS workplan, the team also provided support to the LSMOH and LASAM Advocacy sub-committee in tracking the implementation of the 2018 RI Budget and obtained the commitment of top officials in the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board to attend the meeting with NPHCDA on the New GAVI Strategy Plan in Abuja and encourage closer working relationship between LSPHCB and the NPHCDA.

In a bid to create more visibility for the project, NNNGO-PAS program team led by the Program Officer, Ayo Adebusoye appeared on Talk time on Morning Delight on the Lagos state television on April 4, 2018, to speak on the theme, Nigeria’s Health Infrastructure -Need for State of Emergency with the aim of creating awareness about challenges bedeviling the Nigerian health sector and beaming the torch on the activities of NNNGO-PAS.

On April 27, 2018, the Program Officer, again presented a paper at a Media Roundtable program hosted by Lagos State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn Health, LASAM with the theme, “FP Budget Allocation & Timely Release – The Great Imperative “.

The paper focused on the need to increase awareness on issues relating to routine immunization and family planning as well as advocate the timely release of FP and RI budget allocations.

Conclusion

All activities embarked upon during this quarter were in furtherance of projects which began implementation between Y2016, Y2017, and Y2018.  While there are success stories recorded in the course of implementation, the past four months have only proven that more work is needed in various areas to ensure eventual success for the projects.

Part of what was learned during this quarter was the need to further intensify efforts, leverage on existing partnerships and cultivate new ones in order to ensure continuity and sustainability.

NNNGO TRAINS NPOS IN RIVERS STATE ON REGULATORY COMPLIANCE.

NNNGO TRAINS NPOS IN RIVERS STATE ON REGULATORY COMPLIANCE.

PORT-HARCOURT, Rivers–/ On October 22 and 23, 2018, the Nigeria Network of NGOs convened Nonprofit Organisations across the Eastern and South-southern regions of the country for a two-day intensive training on compliance to regulatory laws as it affects civil society.

The training which was conducted as part of activities for the project, “Strengthening Statutory Regulations for Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria”, aimed to improve regulatory compliance within the Nigerian Nonprofit Sector as participants were taken through NPO management and financial accountability courses alongside lectures on how to better promote transparency within their organisations, in line with global best practices.

“Our sector has been vilified for noncompliance in recent times but this lack of compliance has been majorly due to the fact that many NPOs are unaware of the laws and the changes that occur with them”, said Oyebisi B. Oluseyi, Executive Director, NNNGO. He added that NNNGO is fully committed to the protection of civic space and therefore saw the need to extend training to NPOs, across the country, on CAMA and other regulations. He expressed hope that the training would serve as an opportunity for heads of organisations present to build capacity in areas where they were previously lacking.

The star of the training was the Part F of the CAMA. CAMA sets out the legal basis by which companies are formed and managed. It also sets the rules for company boards and shareholders as well as the exercise of decisions on business growth and investment. It is, therefore, one of the most critical pieces of legislation which impacts the Nigerian non-profit and its relevance to ease of doing business cannot be overemphasized.

After 28 years since its adoption, the CAMA recently underwent a review process which resulted in the repeal and enactment of a newly amended law on May 15, 2018. The Incorporation of Trusteeship which is of principal concern to nonprofits, previously named the Part C of the CAMA was then renamed as Part F of CAMA.

Adeola Odunsi, Project Officer, Strengthening Statutory Regulations for Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, presented to participants, a sample of the toolkit created by NNNGO for nonprofits to access as a Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration guide.

She led discussions on the details of the reviewed CAMA while explaining that the toolkit would serve as a useful tool for engaging processes such as change of name, appointment, and removal of directors as well as how to set up a governing board within an organisational structure.

“Most NPOs cannot trace their sources of funding and this is what makes many prone to risks of being used as conduits for money laundering and terrorist financing”, said Chidinma Okpara, NNNGO AML/CFT Officer, while delivering a training on Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Finance of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Compliance for Non-Profits.

She recalled that the Nigerian Government has in recent times, expressed significant concerns about the rise of money laundering and terrorist financing, especially within the non-profit sector while noting that despite the large number of NPOs registered with the CAC, only, a significantly small number have registered with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML), in the past five years.

She maintained the need for heads of Nonprofits along with their staff, to undergo training on the amended Money Laundering Prohibition Act (MLPA) of 2011. Limitations on cash transactions and receipt as well as the process of conducting background checks on beneficiary or sponsors to ensure they are risk assessed of ML and TF before being on-board, especially on international payments relating to NPO programmes were part of points she highlighted during her training session.

“For accountability checks, every organization is required to have at the very least, a petty cash book, a cash book, a request form, and the reconciliation form”, noted Timothy Odion, Head of Finance, NNNGO. He concluded the two-day event by training participants on financial and organisational accountability while underlining the importance of daily record-keeping.

Experts Call on Government and Stakeholders to Improve Reproductive Healthcare across the Country

Experts Call on Government and Stakeholders to Improve Reproductive Healthcare across the Country

ABUJA, Nigeria October 12, 2018 –The need to improve service delivery, availability and access to Family Planning (FP), for the majority of women across Nigeria, has once again been reiterated by public sector officials, Academics and Civil Society representatives working in the area of reproductive health and family planning in Nigeria.

This was the consensus at a One-day Leadership Training for Family Planning Focal Persons organised on October 12, 2018, by the Development Research and Projects Center (dRPC), under the PACFAH@Scale program with the aim of strengthening the leadership skills and competencies of participants so that they could champion FP issues and needs within the state system.

Speaking at the event, Greg Izuwa, Deputy Director, Reproductive Division, Federal Ministry of Health noted that scores of Nigerian women of reproductive age clamour for access to FP services but the program’s capacity in the country is highly inadequate to meet their needs, therefore it is imperative for everyone concerned to work together with the government so that these challenges can be mitigated.

“The Nigerian Government has, through the Federal Ministry of Health put in place a policy of free family planning information, services and commodities to family planning clients at public health facilities across the country,” said Mr Izuwa. This will help to address inaccessibility owing to ignorance and poverty mostly experienced by underprivileged Nigerian women. He added that select private health facilities are equally being supported with government’s free commodities to enable them to provide family planning services at very subsidized fees to willing clients.

“There are no systematic studies to determine the policy advocacy inclusions and exclusions in the family planning documents that abound in the public health space in Nigeria,” said Dr Aderibigbe Adedeji, Associate Professor of Public Health, University of Ilorin. He surmised that in order to achieve 27% modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR), there needs to be a thorough interrogation of existing policies in order to map how they can better address the needs of the people.

According to Joyce Ahmadu, a gender expert who spoke at the event, “there is need to propose policy actions to strengthen gender integration in future policy development processes” She identified that due to the gender specificity of family planning, government should explore gender-focused research and analysis of norms that affect health-seeking behaviours and health outcomes of women/girls and men/boys in order to arrive at effective interventions targeted at the specific issues. She said this is in response to the identification of gender gaps which came up during an assessment of policies and documents on child and family health in Nigeria.

She, therefore, recommended that policymakers should develop and include gender-sensitive results and indicators to guide the monitoring and evaluation of gender equality, disaggregate gender data at all levels and budget line for gender-related interventions as well as engage stakeholder from the government, CSO and INGOs with gender expertise in the policy development process.

NNNGO-PAS’s Program Officer, Ayo Adebusoye, one of the participants noted: “The conference helped to shape the thoughts and actions of CSO representatives who participated such that we now understand how best to leverage on our individual strengths while working together as a team in order to achieve optimal results”. He concluded that learning to work in synergy with other FP champions within the state and across the country is key to achieving family planning targets.

Extreme Poverty: A Threat to Human Security

It is believed that wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are typically violated.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 1 (SDG) is to end extreme poverty by 2030 which seeks to ensure social protection for the poor and eradicating it remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. The world wonders if the goals are in view, if the goals are soundly on track to sweep out poverty in line with AGENDA 2030; or if the goals are indeed extremely ambitious according to FORBES.

While poverty has been historically accepted in some parts of the world as inevitable, especially the developing nations, for the population now grows faster than the available resources, nonetheless making wealth scarce for many, which inevitably calls to action: social protection systems need an urgent implementation to help alleviate global sufferings.

During the 1970s, World Bank’s policy was meant to use funds to raise the productivity and living standards of the poor, yet in spite of these intensive reduction strategies, the poverty level in several countries of the world still remains pathetically low.  Recent researches have also demonstrated that several families are in constant dire need of basic amenities.

World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than 1.90 dollars per day, and moderate poverty as less than $3.10 a day. It has been estimated that in 2008, 1.4 billion people had consumption levels below $1.25 a day, while 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day. Another research estimates that 1.44 billion people live in extreme poverty as UNICEF’s figures show almost 385 million children survive on less than $1.90 a day.

Reports by World Bank data further reveals worldwide inequality and poverty, the data reveals half of the 767 million people living on less than 1.90 dollars a day in 2013 were under 18, these unarguably indicates that much effort is indeed needed to meet the SDG 1 to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

With this year marking the 25th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly on 22nd December 1992, 17th October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, this years’ theme: Coming Together with Those Furthest Behind To Build An Inclusive World Of Universal Respect For Human Rights And Dignity, reaches out to all developing nations to ensure that NO ONE IS INDEED LEFT BEHIND.

Despite the tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty, rates remain stubbornly high still in low-income countries especially those affected by conflict and political unrest.

Unless action is taken, Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to more than 86% of the world’s extreme poor, for the number of people living in extreme poverty is concentrated in some of these most unstable and populous parts of Africa, raising the risk of political violence and devastating disease outbreaks.

With global estimates of child poverty inaccurately unavailable, some reports, however, reveal that Sub-Saharan Africa houses the largest share of the world’s extremely poor children.

According to the UN, Nigeria is the third most populous country in the world. Currently, with some new report (JUNE 2018) reveals that the country with an estimated population of 198 million, has overtaken India (1.3 billion) as the country with the highest number of poor people in the world.

Nigeria has about 7 people going into poverty every minute. An obvious reason, Nigeria’s population is growing faster than its economy.

SOME CAUSES OF POVERTY

  • Little or no access to employment
  • Inadequate access to good food and clean water
  • Conflict, war and violence. Nigeria’s eight-year conflict with Boko Haram has resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 civilians. Approximately 2.1 million people have been displaced by the conflict while 7 million need humanitarian assistance.
  • World Bank estimates that climate change like drought, flood and earthquakes have the power to push more than 100 million people into poverty over the next ten years.
  • Zero education. UNESCO estimates that 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty if they left school with basic reading skills cum quality education.

Today, more than one billion people live without necessary amenities, the number of people, who lived below the federal poverty line has gone way beyond the sky. With flat incomes stuck at historically high levels, one might assume that chronic economic insecurity which has obviously resulted in poverty might just be the new normal.

SOME STEPS TO CUT POVERTY AND INCREASE ECONOMIC GROWTH

  • Develop and implement rapid and sustained economic growth policies and programs, in areas such as health, education, agriculture, gender equality etc.
  • Invest in and implement agricultural programs.
  • Create and improve access to jobs and raise incomes.
  • Provide access to technology and innovation
  • Encourage countries to engage in trade as a path out of poverty, for trade is key to growth and prosperity.

FACTS ABOUT GLOBAL POVERTY

  • Nearly half of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die every day due to poverty while another 1 billion live in poverty.
  • 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
  • More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhoea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kill an estimated 842,000 people every year globally and approximately 2,300 people every day.
  • In 2011, 165 million children under age 5 had stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition.
  • As of 2013, 21.8 million children under 1 year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
  • A quarter of the world lives without electricity, approximately 1.6 billion people.
  • According to Oxfam, it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty.

The World Food Programme says, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

NO GIRL! NO WOMAN!! NO LIFE!!!

NO GIRL! NO WOMAN!! NO LIFE!!!

The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, innovation, strength and creativity.

Today, 11th October 2017, Nigeria Network of NGOs joins partners all over the world in marking the International Day of the Girl to recognize the imperativeness of empowering and investing in girls.

This year focuses on the theme ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’.  The world must also focus on the need to invest in healthy, skilled and resilient (girl force) a key to competing effectively in the global economy.

Many countries have records of Girl Child being denied of human rights and sometimes her basic needs. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, sets the basic human rights of children; the right to survival and development of potential; protection from harmful influences, abuses and exploitation and full participation in family, cultural and social life.

Based on their gender, girls increasingly face gender inequality. This inequality includes access to quality education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection from discrimination and child marriage. According to the International Labor Organization, 1 out of 3 girls will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.

The message is clear, globally, more than 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24, and more than 90% of these young people live in developing countries with the girls suffering the most. Research also reveals two-thirds of the 774 million illiterates in the world is female.

Despite transformation in the last decade, millions of girls are still denied right to education, more than 62 million girls around the world have no access to education. Of these 17 million are expected never to see nor sit in the four walls of schools. Several countries have millions of girls out of school: In Nigeria, there are almost five and a half million of them, many of them missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for employment and livelihood.

Worldwide, girls ages 5 to 14 spend more than 160 million hours more on household chores. To achieve gender equality and other SDGs, many now recognize that it is essential to support and invest in girls.

Girls deserve better and because they deserve better, the 1.1 billion girls of today’s world are beginning to challenge the status quo. The World Bank opines that girls with education grow into women who “tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labour market, earn higher incomes, have fewer children with better health care and education.”

A substantial number of young girls in the world face various challenges that are often overlooked. Some of the risks include child marriage, early pregnancy, unsafe abortion, HIV and other STIs and genital mutilation to mention a few.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 100 million to 140 million girls and women have undergone genital mutilation with another 3 million at risk of the practice every year.

Skills for girls are one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage. UNESCO notes that 116 million women across developing countries worldwide have never completed primary school, while two-thirds of the illiterate population worldwide is female.

With 5.5million girls out of school and without skills, Nigeria leads Africa in gender inequality. 2018 records about 12 million girls under 18 will be married, and 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years will become pregnant even in developing nations.

Nigeria, with her workforce of about 77 million people, accounts for about 42% of the total population. Between 2014 and 2015, over four million young Nigerians entered the labour market, experiencing a growth of 53% between 2011 and 2015.

However, The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) opines that Nigeria is losing out on a literate and skilled workforce, many thanks to the huge number of out of school children.

The world needs to begin to realize that girls’ education has a huge impact on all societies. Research reveals that skilled female is more likely to find work; are less likely to have children at an early age; skilled girls can save millions of lives: If all women are skilled, there would be 15% fewer child deaths.

Skilled women are less likely to die in childbirth: If all mothers completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 98,000 lives

Girls with higher levels of skills are less likely to get married at an early age, with 14% fewer child marriages.

Gender gap raises some fine questions. Why are boys more valued than girls? For the fact that  age, income, culture, ethnicity and other intersecting factors are not often times factored, then gender must be treated as such, SDG5 must come to play and stay globally.

The world could begin by drawing attention and invest on the most pressing need which is creating opportunities for girls to embrace several skills for an established SKILLED GIRL FORCE.

To have a SKILLED GIRL FORCE, the world must invest and expand access to inclusive skills aside the job and educational skills, skills like professionalism, organizational, leadership and management, team building, analytical, life-skills and personal life skills all of these put together are believed would mold and transform them into an effective and productive FORCE today and tomorrow.