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Sokoto Victims Of SGBV Given Access To Needed Care–Gov. Aliyu



Sokoto State Governor, Dr Ahmed Aliyu has said survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the state have been given access to the care they needed to rebuild their lives.

The governor made the declaration at the weekend at the close-out ceremony of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls in the state.

Aliyu while acknowledging the contribution of EU-UN towards the success of the state government’s intervention, said the state government has enhanced service provision for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

He said: “We have enhanced service provision for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and ensured that women and girls had access to the care they needed to rebuild their lives.”

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Aliyu Dikko, the Governor emphasised that: “The state has tirelessly worked to guarantee that women and girls have seamless access to the necessary care, facilitating their journey to rebuild their lives after traumatic experiences.”

He reiterated the state’s commitment to eliminating violence and harmful practices against women and girls and emphasized the significant progress made by
the Spotlight Initiative, which he described as a comprehensive program designed to ensure that every woman and girl in Sokoto State can live free from violence and harmful practices.

The governor added: “The government has diligently worked to establish laws and policies that protect women and girls, creating an environment that enforces accountability and justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Sokoto State.”

Chief Child Protection, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ibrahim Sesay, who represented the United Nations at the event said: “Over the past five years, in collaboration with the Sokoto State Government, the Spotlight Initiative has made notable strides in addressing the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices against women and girls.”

He highlighted some key achievements of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative including the domestication of child protection and violence against persons’ laws, the establishment of a One-stop Centre for survivors of GBV, and the successful graduation of over 9,000 out-of-school women and girls from the Accelerated Second Chance Education Program.

Sesay emphasised the prevalence of harmful social norms such as child marriage and female genital mutilation in Sokoto State, while Nigeria, according to him, continued to grapple with significant numbers, including 26 million child brides and 19.9 million survivors of female genital mutilation.

“This close-out ceremony serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to commit to upholding the rights of women and children in Sokoto State. It also urges the government to allocate resources and prioritize stable financing for child protection and the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment.

The Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Hajiya Hadiza Ahmed Shagari said that the protection of women and girls was essential in Sokoto state and that was the reason why an organisation like Nana Khadija Centre, was established.

The Commissioner, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed, noted, “We have successfully and effectively worked with all partner MDAs, NGOs and CSOs who have made themselves accessible and committed to the various activities on Gender-Based Violence and child protection issues in Sokoto state”.

Chief Judge of Sokoto State, Hon. Justice Muhammad Sifawa, represented by Hajiya Mariya Haruna, expressed the appreciation of the Sokoto State Judiciary to the European Union and the United Nations for their support since the project’s inception in 2019.

He said, “The judiciary commits to persisting in its efforts to ensure swift dispensation of justice on cases about Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and related vices. This is to assure the women and girls that there is a safe space for them to reach out to anytime they need the support they require”

The joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls and harmful practices in Nigeria, has generated significant impacts since its inception in 2019. The initiative was actively implemented in five states: Adamawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Lagos, and Sokoto, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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Long Service Award: Julius Berger Assures Workers Of Brighter Years Ahead



Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has assured its workers of brighter days and a progressively better future with it.
This was the central theme of the speeches by the  Management, in which the company assured the workers of their sustainable jobs, careers and future with the engineering construction corporation.

At the well-attended, colourful, and exciting ceremony in Abuja where the head office of the company is located, the full complement of the executive management was present. The Managing Director, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter led other members of the executive management committee including the executive director of Administration, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, the Financial Director, Christian Hausemann; and the Executive Director, Corporate Development, Tobias Meletschus to the ceremony.

Giving his traditional speech at the ceremony in Abuja, Alhaji Bayi expressed gratitude to God and informed the workers that, “…taking stock of our activities, we can factually call the year 2023 a year of great achievements for Julius Berger.”
Speaking to the macro-economic challenges still manifest in the country’s business environment, the company, Bayi said, still has been able to make visible progress and has achieved appreciable growth in its operation and revenues. “For practical and good reasons of well-founded and living hope, Julius Berger’s faith in Nigeria’s developmental agenda remains robustly optimistic and positive,” said Alhaji Bayi, adding that “Like Nigeria, Julius Berger shall prevail. In that regard, as always, we place good reliance on the ever-productive catholic marriage between our hardworking Management and our committed and dependable workers.”

On the business status and projects portfolio of the company, Bayi said “…from the Federal Government to the State Governments and through to the Private sector, our energetic Executive Management ably led by Engr Lars Richter and strongly enabled by our comprehensively resourced, cross-sectorally experienced, and well-blended Board of Directors, continue to break new grounds in business acquisitions to increasingly enhance our projects portfolio. The Board of Directors and Executive Management remains very dynamic and alive to their responsibilities.”

Turning to the workers, Bayi said, “…as for you, the great workers of our progressive company, your continuing hard work, commitment, resilience, experience and cooperation, as well as the meticulous planning and continuous investments in both human capital and technology by the Company have all helped greatly in the laudable progress we have continued to achieve as a corporate entity.” He seized the moment to thank the Executive Management the Board of Directors and the company’s indefatigable workers for the wonderful achievements they cooperatively, and peacefully recorded during the 2023 business year.

The staff were given various awards marked out in ranges of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years; the 45 years service award being received by the happy Julius Berger veteran, Joe Ogungbe.

Significantly, the company’s executive director of administration, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Building, who is retiring from service at the end of the year, also received an award for successful and honourable service of 40 years to Julius Berger Plc at the Abuja event.

Bayi thanked the spouses of every award recipient for their support, encouragement, and perseverance through the years and decades. “Without your co-operation, these recipients would not have had the peace and zeal to perform their successful duties for which they are now honoured. We are therefore grateful for all you have done to make this day possible,” said Bayi.

Speaking specifically on his retirement, Alhaji Bayi very graciously enjoined the workers to cooperate with and ensure that his successor in office succeeds, too. “As we say in Nigeria, Soja Go, Soja Come, Barrack Remains! No matter who goes and who comes, Julius Berger remains our great company. It is my pleasure therefore to inform you that Alhaji Abdulazeez Kaita shall be taking over my duties as your new Director of Administration in January 2024. I ask that you all very kindly extend to your new Director of Administration, Alhaji Kaita, the same good cooperation with which you and I worked during my time in office. You made me succeed; I ask that you kindly  make Alhaji Abdulazeez Kaita succeed in his new role and assignment, also.”

At the Lagos event, the Regional Manager, Christl Thomas congratulated all the Awardees, especially the two staff who were awarded for 40 years of service to the company. He congratulated the awardees for the milestone achievement in service adding that, “…your hard work and dedication have helped to build this company to this great level.”

Apart from the Regional Management present at the ceremony, Projects Managers and Coordinators, as well as site supervisors graced the occasion that, in all the regional hubs of the company and Abuja, featured dancing and joyous celebrations among the Awardees amidst sumptuous dining and wining.

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Anambra Philanthropist, Otti, Gifts 10 Families New Homes In Umuchu



Chief Abraham Otti, has gifted 10 underprivileged families with brand new homes in Anambra State.

The extraordinary gesture has brought hope and joy to these families, who were previously struggling to find a safe and secure place to live.

The statement reads in part: “In the Heart of Umuchu, Chief Abraham Ikechukwu Otti, Fondly Known as “Mighty Mighty,” Embarks on a Mission of Generosity.

“Today marks a historic occasion in Umuchu, as Chief Abraham Ikechukwu Otti, affectionately called “Mighty Mighty,” spearheads a momentous act of compassion and philanthropy.

“The bustling town witnessed the generous gesture aimed at transforming the lives of ten families through the provision of new homes and essential provisions.

“As the sun ascended, bathing the town in golden rays, Honorable Chinedu Ezekwike, known as “Akwaeke,” gracefully represented Chief Otti during the heartfelt ceremony.

“In eager anticipation, the beneficiaries awaited life-changing gifts. Chief Otti, speaking through a phone call interview, humbly expressed gratitude for being a vessel for God’s will. Despite his lack of acquaintance with the recipients or their locations, his commitment to this act of kindness remained unwavering.

“The ceremony unfolded as an orchestra of generosity resonated through Umuchu. Chief Chinedu Benson Mmadubuko Ezeani Chinechendo na Adaziani, CEO of Chico Group Ltd, amplified Chief Otti’s benevolent efforts.

“Support poured in from Chief Okwudili Otti, famously known as Nwarupuoaku Umuchu, Dr. Engr Festus Onu, esteemed MD of Ferotex Group of Companies Ltd and known as Omenanwata 1 of Enugu Ezike, along with contributions from Barrister Chukwudi Obi from Ikeduduru in Imo State, Chief Ebere Akannonu (Akudinanwa Umuchu), Mr. Ebuka Chukwuonye (Okwute), and Dr. Amb Okpalajiaku Obiora (Chinyereugo na Nkpologwu), all generously supporting the cause.

“The presentation wasn’t merely about homes; it was a symphony of generosity. Each family received 15 carefully selected essentials, including electronic appliances, food supplies, and a substantial cash gift.”

Honourable Akwaeke, while handing over the properties and essentials to the families, urged them to perceive these gifts as blessings and to keep Chief Abraham Otti and his family in their prayers, wishing them guidance and protection.

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French Ambassador Identifies Women, Girls Major Victims Of Gender Violence, Cyber Harassment



The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuella Blatmann has added a new twist to the challenges currently being faced by Nigerians, with an argument that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and harassment against women and girls have become more fierce online.

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