ActionAid urges Nigerian government to address issues causing agitations

ActionAid urges Nigerian government to address issues causing agitations

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN)

The ActionAid Nigeria Board of Trustees has called on the Federal Government to improve the state of the nation.

The civil rights organization spoke at a virtual meeting Saturday to review the State of the Nation.

Following the organization’s 42nd meeting held virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that he has seen fit as citizens of the nation and as active agents of change to make comments, observations and recommendations on the state of the nation.

According to the AAN, while acknowledging the current administration’s efforts to move the country forward, particularly at an unprecedented time when the world is fighting a pandemic, it expressed its observations and recommendations.

The organization noted that the lack of adequate accountability by the Police Anti-Theft Special Squad and the government’s responsiveness over the years has snowballed into #EndSARS protests across the country. .

The AAN said: “The lack of an adequate accountability mechanism for the Police Anti-Theft Special Squad and the government’s responsiveness over the years has morphed into a force associated with the harassment of innocent citizens, the extortion at gunpoint and extrajudicial killings of suspects, innocent Nigerians and foreigners. .

“What also snowballed into #EndSARS protests across the country with devastating and violent consequences.

“The prolonged failure of the Federal Government and the ASUU to reach a mutual agreement invariably reinforces the decline of education to the detriment of the entire country.

“The 2009 FGN / ASUU agreement not implemented is still a setback. ASUU kicked out against the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), because it undermines university autonomy and is tremendously incompatible with the university system.

“The University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which it believes is fraud and corruption proof, is in the final stage of integrity testing.

“Re-starting a new platform that offers a similar service is seen as a waste of time and resources.

“The continuous strike is not disconnected from the growing youth unrest that is observed in the country.

“The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has made some progress in terms of combating the dreaded coronavirus, but the country’s limited testing capacity and inconsistent contact tracing remain a major concern.

“There has also been a worrying increase in mystery cases, which health experts say raise more questions.

“The rise in electricity rates of almost 100%, as well as the increase in the price of fuel in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only untimely, but also counterproductive.

“The privatization of the electricity subsector seven years later has not yielded the anticipated positive results.

“This is because through the privatization process, the entire sector was sold for about 400 billion naira.

“We are also surprised that the government in the last four years has injected N1.5 trillion above the amount that was accumulated of this important asset and that Nigerians still have to pay more.

“Since the closure of COVID-19, a wave of rape and other forms of gender-based sexual violence has increased.

“Since the inception of the closures, reported cases of gender-based violence have increased substantially with a monthly increase of 149% in 23 of the 36 states in Nigeria where we were able to obtain data on SGBV.

“Despite this, to date, only 17 of the 36 states and the FCT have passed the Law Prohibiting Violence Against Persons in Nigeria.

“Regardless of claims by federal authorities about increased security measures, an atmosphere of insecurity persists in Nigeria.

“Increasing attacks are being reported in the northeast, including reports of new attacks in Chibok, home to Chibok girls who have not yet fully returned home 6 years after their abduction, with 112 girls still missing.

“The Federal Government’s attempts to encourage local farmers and food producers not to import are commendable; however, Nigeria is currently facing the twin crisis of floods and food shortages.

“This threatens to push Nigeria into a devastating food crisis.”

The organization also recommended that the Federal Government should provide deadlines to respond to the demands of young people and avoid the looming food crisis that may become the reality of the nation.

AAN said: “The federal government must provide defined timelines for the government’s response to youth demands.

“This can start with the investigations of the incident that occurred at the Lekki toll gate.

“Those who ordered the shooting, as well as the officers who fired at peaceful protesters, must be brought into the reserve openly.

“Those who sponsored thugs to disrupt peaceful protests, attack their fellow citizens and destroy property must be identified and faced with the wrath of the law to send a clear message that elites must desist from using Nigerian youth for political purposes. .

“We call on the Federal Government to request the Central Bank to unfreeze the accounts of EndSARS promoters without delay.

“We call on the Federal Government to reconsider its position in IPPIS and pay the salaries of ASUU members and implement the FGN / ASUU agreement. What education needs now is for the government to declare a state of emergency to rebuild it.

“This reconstruction should start with adequate funding for everything related to education. Adequate funding will ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost of private universities or who do not have the opportunity to study outside Nigeria, get a quality education, the price of which is not beyond their control. scope.

“We plead with the Federal Government and sub-national governments to investigate the myriad other issues raised with the onset of COVID-19, with a view to resolving all outstanding issues to maintain industrial harmony and prevent unnecessary suffering and deaths of Nigerians.

“It will also be an opportunity to strengthen our underfunded health facilities.

“The increase in the electricity tariff and the rise in the price of fuel have eroded the purchasing power of Nigerians.

“We recommend the reversal of the fuel price and the electricity tariff, and we request that meters be provided for all electricity consumers.

“The progress made in eradicating poverty by the president and other stakeholders like ActionAid Nigeria is drastically eroding due to monumental inflation.

“Response services to gender-based violence must be a basic and accessible service in all Nigerian states.

“The minimum standards of prevention and response to SGBV in emergencies must be institutionalized.

“The fundamental standards will help states better engage communities, support national systems, and collect data for effective utilization.

“The mitigation, prevention and response standards will allow states to guarantee access to reproductive health services for survivors of SGBV, including clinical management of rape, distribution of dignity kits and effective referral systems to facilitate the access to psychosocial support, security and justice, and legal assistance and socio-economic support; while coordination and operating standards will allow states to carry out SGBV evaluations, coordination, promotion and communications, and to ensure human and financial resources in emergency situations.

“We urge the Federal Government to continue to engage with key international players, including the United Nations, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to provide support to Nigerian forces and the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF, to counter and end the insurgency in the northeast.

“Additionally, Nigeria should consider looking inward for its own solution to end the growing insecurity in the country.

“To avoid the looming food crisis, financial inclusion must be promoted through greater access to low-interest credit by small farmers, especially small farmers who produce more than 70% of the food consumed in the country” .

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