Delta State Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro has pledged the willingness of the State Government to partner and collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD) in the provisions of better services and enabling environment for the survival, proper development, protection and participation of the teeming women, children, persons living with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups in the State.
The Deputy Governor, flanked by the Commissioners for Women Affairs and Information, Rev. Ishola Williams and Mr. Patrick Ukah and other top government functionaries in the State, made the pledge on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in Asaba, when he received on courtesy call, the Minister of the Ministry, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan and her entourage on the occasion of her advocacy visit to the State.
Barr. Otuaro noted that government and governance was all about enhancing her citizenry, especially the children and women and this can easily be achieved through partnership with relevant organizations and enacting and implementing laws that will help them.
He commended the visitors for chosen Delta State as one of the states in Nigeria to carry out their advocacy on issues which are critical to the development of the State and Nigeria in general.
Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry, Binta Adamu Bello, stated that the Ministry had the mandate for promoting and protecting the rights of the vulnerable groups (women, children and persons living with various forms of disabilities) and integrating their concerns into national development.
The Minister disclosed that Nigeria remains the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population of over 160 million people, out of which 49.10% are women, with the total number of the vulnerable groups constituting about 70% of the entire population.
Senator Alhassan pointed out that issues concerning women, children and other vulnerable groups are listed in the concurrent list of the Nigerian constitution. This is to say that their issues are handled by the federal and state governments and which underscores the important role that states play in the actualization of the mandate.
“It is in recognition of your key role on these issues, that I am on this advocacy visit to your State to solicit for your support for the actualization of my Ministry’s concerns at empowering our women, children, and other vulnerable groups in the State, knowing full well that the current situation and conditions of these group doing not reflect the state of our national development”. She asserted
While appealing to the Delta State Government for the Implementation of the Child Rights Law; Violence Against Women, Orphans and Vulnerable children, National Priority Agenda on Vulnerable children, Nigeria Children’s Parliament, Improved Maternal and Child Health and Women Economic Empowerment legislation, Senator Aisha Alhassan further requested for an enabling environment to enhance increased participation in politics and decision making, the quick Implementation of the National Gender Policy and its strategic framework, as well as the establishment of Gender data bank.
Other demands that formed the Minister’s agenda also included the establishment of legislation to address harmful traditional practices against women and children; Care, development and integration of Persons with Disabilities as well as Increased budgetary allocation for issues relating to women, children and other socially disadvantaged groups, enhanced capacity building programmes for Women Organization and their role in Development and promotion of Child Welfare issues and Empowerment and job retraining activities for activities for the elderly in the State.
According to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, “we will greatly limit our chances of achieving national and sustainable development, if we do not make conscious and sustained efforts to tackle gender disparity in the country”, she submitted.
Story by Abel Johngold