The agitation for restructuring is spreading like a wild fire in the harmattan and sweeping through every segment of society, including women groups. REGINA OTOKPA reports
Prominent Nigerian women recently embraced the clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria. The women, who joined the fray at the weekend, said womenfolk would no longer sit on the fence on important issues capable of changing the fortunes of Nigeria. Leading the women’s vanguard were the Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mary Ekpere-Eta; Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Binta Masi Garba and a former Minister of Women Affairs, Josephine Anenih, among others.
The trio, who were at an event marking the Finalization of the Draft Memorandum by Nigerian Women on the Restructuring of Nigeria pledged to mobilise other women to support the agitation. In her remarks, Ekpere-Eta said the draft document was the outcome of a round table dialogue which had in attendance, female politicians, academia, professionals, women with disabilities, market women, female youths and women civil society organizations and the submissions of organizations. She said the document covered history of restructuring debate in the country, with key ingredients of the debate, where women stand and why.
“It is expected that this small group of experts will finalise the draft document which was borne out of consensus and wide agreement such that women are willing to uphold, defend and argue its points and resolutions at different levels. “We expect that the final outcome will be submitted to the Federal Government Committee on Restructuring, as well as National Assembly, while ensuring bipartisanship ownership around the women agenda.
“In addition, we are hoping to step up the women’s agenda in the six geopolitical zones of the country and monitor its utilization by various groups on a continuous basis, using all available media,” Ekpere-Eta said. Ekpere-Eta disclosed that the women have been on the draft memorandum for over three months, having held series of meetings before they came out with the draft.
“The 15-man experts that we have, analysed the drafts and we are going to send them back to Nigerian women for further input and we will come out with a position for the Nigerian women,” she stated. Ekpere-Eta said the involvement of women in the agitation for the restructuring of the country, was auspicious considering that women were the most important factor and key players in the society, being the best in terms of organizational skills and the economy. According to her, there was need for the women to come together to take a decision on the restructuring of the country. Nigerian women, she said, were throwing their weight behind the issue because of its importance to the development of the country.
“Of course, women are in support of restructuring and they want to play a major role to make sure that they are not left out, and that they take their position in the national policy making,” Ekpere-Eta said. On her part, Garba said the issue of restructuring was not new in the country, but had been with us as a nation for a very long time.
“History has shown that way back in the 50s, restructuring has been on the front burner of women and today, for the first time, for women to come together and name their own voice in the advancement of Nigerian governance. “It has shown that women came from all over the country, even some from abroad to have an input on the draft bill that will be sent to the National Assembly on the overall view of what the Nigerian women are agitating for in terms of restructuring.
“We are fully in support of the restructuring. Like we said, it is a draft bill. At the end of the day, the common decision of the Nigerian women will be taken and we will see if it will be accepted by the National Assembly,” Garba said.A former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, said the draft was of great importance because the debate on the restructuring of the country cannot be left on the doorsteps of the malefolks.
“We must bring in our own perspectives to the conversations, the demand for restructuring. One thing is certain, we as Nigerian women, want this country restructured if we are going to survive as a nation and how do we want it to be restructured? That is what we are brainstorming on now and putting our thoughts together, so that we can show and tell them how we want it to be done. “So, we are looking at all the different agitations. Some are asking for state police; so all those issues that have been talked about, we are bringing them out and looking at them,” Anenih said.
VIDEO: Sunday Igboho steals show as Moshood Adeoti declares to succeed Aregbesola
One of the leading aspirants in the race to Abere government house for the September 22nd governorship election in Osun state, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti popularly addressed as “SHEU” by his admirers has officially declared his intention to contest for the post of the governor, to succeed his boss, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola under the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC.
He made his intention known when he visited the state secretariat of the party in Osogbo, accompanied by his teeming supporters, loyalists and well-wishers gathered from all local governments of the state, in his words at the occasion, “Mr. Chairman, I have come forward today as a disciplined and active party member of APC to declare my interest in contesting for the governor of Osun, I have gathered valuable experience over the years, starting from my humble political background as a councilor in Iwo to the state party chairman of Action Congress AC, Action Congress of Nigeria ACN, and now the secretary to the state government in the last eight years, i am most experienced and qualified among all the contestants from both the PDP and APC ” he said.
My interest primarily is to make success out of everywhere Governor Rauf Aregbesola has failed as we have many shortcomings as an administration but government is a continuum, our party APC made many promises which we cannot fulfill but I vow to fulfill all of them if elected as governor. I also want to align with the six integral action plan of Aregbesola and I am totally committed to fulfilling them all provided the APC will give me the platform to contest as its flag bearer, he stressed further.
Speaking at the short ceremony, one of the notable personality who accompanied Adeoti to the ceremony, Chief Sunday Igboho Adeyemo, a chieftain of PDP in Oyo State and a former ally of former Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who affirmed his total readiness to work assiduously for the emergence and success of Adeoti at the polls categorically assured that all known and prominent thugs within and outside Osun will be mobilized to support the ambition of Adeoti. Igboho, a known confidant of Senator Rashidi Ladoja said he has gotten approval of Ladoja to support the APC aspirant.
One of the party elders from Ejigbo who accompanied Adeoti to the event but prefers to stay anonymous expressed shock about the missed opportunity and lack of cohesion displayed by the grassroot politician of Adeoti caliber, this was an opportunity for Sheu to itemize his manifesto to the party and people, prove bookmakers wrong that he has the capacity needed to administer our state, he also failed to showcase to the public the achievements of the administration in which he served as SSG for eight years, instead was hammering on areas of weaknesses and failures of Aregbesola, the former AD councillor lamented.
“We have over 50 party leaders here, and Sunday Igboho who is not a resident, citizen or voter in Osun state was the one of the persons recognized by the SSG to address the gathering, Igboho that was in Osogbo 2months ago for the PDP state Congress where Adagunodo was elected chairman, this is an insult to our collective sensibility in Osun, the septuagenarian questioned.
When asked when he will resign his present appointment, he simply answered, there is no place in Nigeria or APC constitution where it was written that I have to resign because I want to contest for governor, I’m still the SSG, he boasted.
Nigeria: Soaring investment inflow amid deficit, insecurity
Nigeria’s investment profile is rising based on data from the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Ironically, infrastructure gap and insecurity are threatening the investment landscape. Abdulwahab Isa reports
Nigeria’s exit from economic recession has spurred investors’ appetite. They have, in recent months, upped their investment stakes while potential ones are at various stages of taking decisions.
Investment data from key agencies, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) attest to increase in this regard.
Latest chart by NIPC revealed that inflows totaled $17.88 billion in first quarter of 2018 while NBS put it’s own at $6.3 billion. The figure is higher than that of 2017.
With a population of over 190 million, Nigeria is unarguably a darling for discerning investors.
For instance, NIPC’s investments record shared recently with the media revealed that of the $17.88 billion investments recorded in the first quarter of 2018, they were spread across 32 projects in eight states of the federation.
The figure surpasses the $6.38 billion investment flow in six projects across four states recorded in the first quarter of 2017.
Further scrutiny of NIPC data showed that most of the investments and sources of their finances came from the United Kingdom, accounting for $59.000 million, followed by Nigeria with $212.00 million, United States $2,357 million and China $1.200 million.
Others are Switzerland with $847,00 million, while $262,00 million came from other sources respectively.
In a similar data by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), first quarter 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into Nigeria.
The total value of capital imported in the quarter stood at $6.30 billion, which is a year-on-year increase of 594.03 per cent and a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.
This increase in capital inflow in Q1, 2018 was driven mainly by portfolio investment, which grew from $3.47 billion in the previous quarter to $4.56 billion, accounting for 72.42 per cent of the total capital importation during the quarter.
Further analysis of the report showed that foreign direct investment stood at $246.62 million, dropping by 34.83 per cent from the figure reported in the previous quarter, and growing by 16.67 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
“Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria was still weak when compared to Portfolio Investment and Other Investment, representing only 3.9 per cent of total capital imported,” NBS capital investment flow data revealed.
While presenting investment data to the media in Abuja, NIPC Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, listed oil and gas sector, transport, construction, ICT, manufacturing and solar plants as areas mostly favoured.
Sadiku listed Lagos, Kano, Niger, Ogun as preferred destinations.
I Guide Nigeria
To consolidate the process, NIPC has come up with an investment guide, a sort of compendium on investments for investors.
I Guide Nigeria is meant to open Nigeria investment opportunities to foreign investors. It was launched by NIPC in collaboration with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD) to showcase country’s investment opportunities.
It houses all the vital investment information, which gives details of the business opportunities in Nigeria as well as steps for engagement from registration to land acquisition to would be investors.
Speaking at the occasion, Sadiku said the online platform showcasing Nigeria business environment would assume the position of the country’s investment voice, saying it was important to give Nigeria business environment a voice
“The I Guide online platform is such a simple investment tool, yet very useful. I Guide is an easy-to-use online platform providing investors with up-to-date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria, to enable investors get access to the basic information they need to make better informed decisions on Nigeria as a preferred investment destination.
“The platform provides information on starting a business, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor’s rights, growth sectors and opportunities. It is a marketing tool as information on Nigeria investment processes and procedures are on one platform for easy access,” she said.
Sadiku said the platform provides information on local data, which “contains information on labour costs, taxes, rent values, utility prices and transport cost as well as information on relevant laws and regulations as well as contact of ministries and agencies responsible for the issuance of licences/approvals.”
While investment horizon looks pretty good and decidedly certain for Nigeria, the country is contending with huge infrastructures gap and protracted insecurity challenge – the two are vital indices that influence investors’ decision.
Experts in infrastructure postulate that the country needs to spend $3 trillion on economic infrastructure over the next 30 years, if it must meet its ambitious development goals.
Nigeria’s major infrastructure challenges border on poor power supply, bad roads, and inefficient railways.
Relatedly, security is intractable challenge and a draw back to investment. Kidnapping, banditry, Boko Harram attacks and other crimes cast a spell on investments flow.
Whatever quantum of investments that came into Nigeria during the period under review, a higher figure of investments flow would be attained under a better atmosphere.
Interestingly, the Federal Government said its faith on investment flow was undaunted, notwithstanding security and infrastructure challenges.
Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah, said the Federal Government was aiming first to 100th position on the World Bank ranking on the ease of doing business with the launch of I Guide.
According to the minister, Nigeria appreciated 24 places in the recent ranking of the World Bank’s ease of doing business presented last year, moving from 169 places to 145 among 190 countries.
Enelemah expressed optimism that with the government’s efforts to improve ease of doing business, Nigeria would fair better in 2018 ranking.
While the country’s investment outlook is very attractive and irresistible to investors, the onus is on government to upgrade its various infrastructure facilities and curtail the current high level of insecurity.
A work on these two infrastructure will certainly put Nigeria in league of first top investment destinations.
Coping with economic realities in Abuja
Times are hard and the role of women in many families are changing. In Abuja, many women have dumped their traditional status as housewives. DEBORAH OCHENI reports
The economic hardship in Nigeria has unleashed a silent revolution in many homes in Abuja. The rate at which women financially support their families to make ends meet is now unimaginable.
Gone are the days when women were contented with keeping the home as housewives and their husbands were meant to carter for all the needs of the family. In some homes today, women have become the bread winners, particularly where the husband has lost his job due to the job cuts, down-sizing and lay- offs in various work places in and around the Federal Capital Territory. Nowadays, it’s very difficult to find a “stay at home mum” in Abuja.
But this is not only attributable to the hardship but also to the growing population of women who have acquired western education and have got the skills to seek paid employment or be self employed.
These educated women try to force their way into one organization or the other no matter how little the salary might be, while the semi-educated acquire vocational skills such as catering, tailoring, soap making and petty trading to assist their husbands in running the homes. Indeed, many women, who were once mere housewives are now in the business of selling provisions and food stuffs in Abuja.
Invariably, there is no point denying the fact that they are happy at their decision of refusing to be ‘stay at home mothers’, as they can attend to their vital needs and the needs of their family from their income without involving their husbands. Most of these women are no longer contented with the meagre resources they get from their husbands as housekeeping allowances.
They now hustle their way to ensure their contribution to the economic wellbeing of the family is greatly felt in their homes. Inside Abuja went on the streets to interact with some of the financially independent wives.
The interviews showed that they all have diverse reasons for their choice of pursuing additional livelihoods independent of their husbands. However, the underlying factor is the fact that most women are tired of always asking their husbands for money to cater for their needs no matter how little it may be.
Blessing Augustine, a mother of four children, said she decided to enrol in a skill acquisition training programme to enable her acquire the needed skills to do something meaningful for her family. “I only regret not taking this decision earlier.
The worst thing that can happen to any woman is to relax at home and watch her husband providing all her needs. It doesn’t matter if you have to suffer a lot before you can have small gain on whatever legal business you do. It is better you suffer and make your money because it will cause your husband to respect and appreciate you more.
Before now, it’s so difficult for me to feed my children if their father doesn’t provide money for feeding. But those days have passed. I can’t even remember the last time I asked my husband for feeding money but my children are feeding fine and I am happy. I can now do my daily contributions, feed my children conveniently and buy my cosmetics effortlessly,” she said. Ladi Sunday is a provision shop owner in Abuja. She said she was living comfortably but decided to earn a living on her own.
“I thank God I have a husband that cooperates well with me. He said I should stay at home and take care of our children. Although he meets every of our needs timely, he never complained but I was still not comfortable.
I discussed with him how I desire to have a personal source of income and he opened a shop for me. Since then, I feel so fulfilled because I do so many things now without involving my husband.” Sunday said. Joy Akhire, a seamstress, who makes a living from her fashion and designs shop, said it was a decision she had to make because of the realities of the times.
“My upbringing did not allow us to stay completely idle at home no matter how wealthy the husband is. Marriage almost made me a lazy woman but the present condition of the country made me to realize the need to seek for extra income for the family.
I have slight knowledge of tailoring but when the family load became too much on my husband, I decided to perfect the tailoring skill in me and the outcome has been awesome,” Akhire said. Mary Makoji, a mother of four children, narrated to Inside Abuja how she delved into multiple economic activities that made her financial contributions to the family almost equal to that of her husband.
“Initially, I was comfortable using whatever comes out of my husband’s pocket but when we had our second baby, I thought of the high rate of house rent and our children’s school fees and then realized that my husband’s salary cannot handle it.
I saw that if we continued that way, we might not feed well or attend to other things. “Severally, I sold the idea of opening a hair dressing saloon to my husband but he wouldn’t allow me based on what people may say. I started by bringing customers to the house for hair dressing at an affordable rate. Gradually , the level of patronage blossomed but my husband was not aware of all this as he goes to work early and returns late.
I could attend to three customers in a day and I get paid. “As time went on, I was not complaining much in terms of feeding again because whatever he drops for feeding I will add up money and prepare delicious meal while paying my daily contributions. When it’s time to renew our house rent, I suggested to my husband that we should add up what I have saved from the daily contribution to the rental fee to build a house since we already have a land and my husband was shocked to his marrow at the amount that I coughed out.
That was how we built our house. Although, I have not gotten a shop yet, I still do hair-dressing and tailoring in one of my rooms. I sell soft drinks and foodstuffs too. I am relieved of so many things now.
We no longer pay rent. Our four children go to the best school around us and we feed better. My husband loves and appreciates me more now,” she said. Similarly, Veronica Ochanya, mother of three, said she detested being called a ‘housewife’ and decided early in her marriage not to allow herself to be boxed into a corner. “I detest the slogan ‘housewife’ that relegates many women to the house.
We have a lot of potentials that can fetch us better money but men with their ‘I can take care of my wife’ mentality will waste our potentials in the name of marriage. “Thank God for the hype in cost of living in Abuja. It has made my husband to realize the need for me to go out and make extra money for family upkeep and he is enjoying everything now because it’s a great relieve for him,” said Ochanya.
News20 hours ago
2nd Niger Bridge: Julius Berger will demobilize from site in June –Reps
News20 hours ago
Nigeria more transparent under Buhari –Lai Mohammed
News19 hours ago
Jonathan warns Buhari against rigging Ekiti poll
Politics21 hours ago
Anyanwu: Nigeria’s democracy is in great danger
Columnists21 hours ago
Reps disappointing outing on Peace Corps
Politics20 hours ago
My plans for Oyo State, by Obisesan
News20 hours ago
Don’t vote APC, PDP in 2019, Ezekwesili tells Nigerians
News20 hours ago
Woman appeals to IG over missing husband