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AfCFTA: Forum calls for integration of gender in trade services negotiation




Participants at the African Regional Council of Women conference have called for the integration of gender in Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiation in trade services.

The participants made the call in a communique issued at the end of a three-day conference tagged; “New Awakening for African Women” in Abuja.

The communiqué, which was made available to newsmen by the National President, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Mrs Laraba Shoda was organised by the council.

The conference was organised in collaboration with the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and Partnership for Advancing Women in Economic Development.

The forum called for implementation of a trade facilitation agenda to improve safety and reduce the time and cost involved in trading, particularly for small-scale female traders.

The communique noted the need for women to be provided with targeted skills on development and training in local content and rules of origin requirements, sanitary and other technical requirements to meet AfCFTA trade standards.

They also called for the involvement of civil society, NGOs, including organisations representing female traders and women’s business associations in national AfCFTA committees.

The communiqué also called for provision of gender training for trade negotiators, to create a stronger understanding among technical officials of the links between trade and gender.

It also advocated investing in women employment, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, including Public-Private Partnership schemes.

According to the communique, there is the need to support mentorship, networks, information sharing and on-the-job training, re-training, technical education, especially product packaging and food security.

It said increasing the access of women-owned businesses to corporate supply chains and improving women’s access to finance through a range of innovative financing instruments ranging from micro loans to venture capital was key.

The forum also observed that proper partnership with the media to sensitise people on gender-based violence in the society should be encouraged.

It noted that the importance of housing as one of the fundamental needs of human existence apart from food and clothing was also noted.

The forum encouraged women to develop interest in the sector as developers.

“Even though the housing sector is considered as enterprise for men, women are known to be better home managers.

“Women have  also been charged to key into the partnership signed with the Federal Government of Nigeria/Family Homes by the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) for the provision of affordable houses,” it said.

The conference also called on government at all levels to address the rising cases of insecurity in the country, so that citizens would be able to carry out their responsibilities without any fear.

“We as mothers are committed to the unity of Nigeria as one indivisible nation. (NAN)

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Economic: Osinkolu Assures Nigerians Of Better Days Ahead 



Dr Olusegun Osinkolu


A financial expert, Dr Olusegun Osinkolu has appealed to Nigerians to exercise patients with the economic team put together by President Bola Tinubu, noting that relief will soon come.

Osinkolu assured that Nigeria will soon witness a great turn around by the time the economic team swings into full action.

“we will heave a sign of relief soon as the story would change for better”.

The Ayede-Ekiti born All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain in a statement issued on Friday and released to newsmen, described the appointments of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Yemi Cardoso and Minister of Finance, Wale Edun as a round peg in a round hole.

Osinkolu, who was a banker of repute, described them as gentlemen and men of integrity, who are masters on their field of appointments.

He commended President Bola Tinubu for the appointments, describing it as well deserved and has raised the bar and shown that competence is the parameter for public service.

“I want to formally thank President Bola Tinubu for considering the duo of the CBN Governor and Finance Minister for their appointment.

I commend his open-mindedness to embrace and usher in vibrant patriots into the national mainstream politics.

“I wish to state that their appointment is not only well deserving, but also falls in line with Mr. President’s penchant for talent discovery that has characterised his bold and giant strides in Lagos state and the nation at large.

“I affirm that this particular appointment is a round peg in a round hole,”he stated.

He urged the duo of the CBN Governor and finance minister to focus on the vision and mission of Mr President, by refocusing through their short, medium and long term measures.

He assured Nigerians that the CBN and it’s Finance ministry under their watch will operate transparent monetary policies, while his administration will not tolerate and work towards correcting the errors made by past administrations.

He further urged the duo to comply with all constitutional duties and ensure that financial policies of the country are of international standard and in support of the Tinubu-led administration.

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Senator Natasha lauds NDDC, NLNG partnership on local content



Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan

Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, lawmaker representing Kogi Central senatorial district has commended the pact between Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), to develop local content capacity.

Both NDDC and NLNG recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to leverage shared aspirations and collaborate on diverse fronts in the delivery of sustainable development projects in the region.

Reacting, Senator Natasha urged NDDC to consider the need to be the primary recruiters of their trained workforce to achieve effective service delivery.

She gave the charge on Thursday during an interactive session between Senate Committee on Local Content and the NDDC Managing Director, Samuel Ogbuku.

As the Chair, Local Content Committee, Natasha tasked the NDDC on the need to not only build capacity and equip their workforce but also engage them efficiently.

“NDDC should consider being the primary recruiters of their trained workforce. Artisans or skilled professionals such as ICT workers can be absorbed by NDDC contractors, which in turn, will enable the commission reach the most vulnerable and neglected youth,” she said.

She also pledged to partner with NDDC on building a database of artisans within the country to strengthen the workforce and by extension achieve microeconomic growth for Nigeria.

“Local Content Committee intends to deploy innovative thinking for positive results, thus, we are building a database of carefully profiled artisans who have been trained by NDDC, SMEDAN, etc.; and work modalities to have the oil & gas companies, as well as government contractors, recruit from the pool of verified workforce.

“This would help curb unemployment by keeping the jobs locally. Such a project would also help the Local content board, NDDC and other agencies monitor and evaluate the performance of our collective capacity-building efforts towards achieving a common microeconomic growth for Nigeria and Africa at large,” she added.

In his remarks, the NDDC MD accepted her proposal and looks forward to a synergy with the Local Content Committee to develop strategies, and in turn, engage trained workforce for employment opportunities.


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Update: 2024 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Reps



House of Rep in Session

The House of Representatives has passed the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget for a second reading.

The House leader, Julius Ihonvbere, on Thursday, November 30, while leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, commended President Bola Tinubu.

Ihonvbere noted that national security and education which got significant allocations will be enhanced if implemented.

He said, “Nigeria will be more secure with the allocation to defence and security. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time.”


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