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UNDP trains SPF Implementation Officers for Kogi

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UNDP trains SPF Implementation Officers for Kogi

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has has trained implementation officers of the Social Protection Framework (SPF) for Kogi State to address poverty, inequality, under development and unemployment.
The blueprint for the implementation of the welfare programs and policies was handed over to the State Government after Successful Development and production of The SPF through the coordinating ministry-Women Affairs and Social Development
UNDP consultant John Alabi who gave the indication in Lokoja explained that the document was part of a protection aimed at supporting the State Government in realizing over arching development strategy in developing a State Social Protection Strategy.
“The framework is targeted at addressing gaps identified in the State poverty policy in terms of social assistance provision for the vulnerable groups namely; Orphans, and vulnerable children (OVC) and children under the age of five, as well as for the disabled, the elderly and those without access to social protection support. He added.
“Consequent upon the approval of the management of the UNDP Office, that Messrs LOGAY INVESTMENTS LTD (Management and Human Resource Development Consultant) was engaged for the organization of a 3-day training program for key Implementation Officers on the Kogi State Social Protection Schemes (SPS). ”
He said the training was held at Golden Prestige Hotels, Kabba, Kogi State, from 25th – 27th July, 2016.
The objective of the training according to him include: – To reposition the target participants technically for the challenges of administering the social supports schemes for the common/targeted people. 
Alabi indicated that the participants were drilled on the critical issues of government/public welfare services schemes to inculcate in them best target setting and performance management skills required for implementing the various schemes in the social protection framework.
“The training drew about 45 participants from across the Kogi State Ministries, the 21 Local Government Community Development Officers (CDOs) and relevant Non-governmental Organizations, with fair male and female representations. 
“A total of seven (7) technical papers were presented and syndicate session with three (3) interactive exercises/questions engaged the participants and the coordinating consultants.”
He explained that many social support programs had been carried out in the State despite the absence of a coherent social protection policy and implementation framework.
Dr. Alabi indicated that there was need for visits to orphanages, empowerment, bursary allowances to students among others.
He noted that the scope of coverage, financing, governance structure as well as political will were some of the challenges faced by social protection framework in Nigeria and Kogi State in particular.
The consultant pointed out that the document has proffered solutions to the challenges.
One of the policy recommendations proposed to the State Government include the need to establish a strong monitoring and evaluation system to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the program across the State.
Tagged Kogi StateSocial Protection frame work, the document was presented to the State commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs.Bolanle Amupitan by the coordinating Consultant of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Dr.  John Alabi.
Amupitan expressed optimism that the blue print when fully implemented would go a long way in addressing the hydra headed menance of poverty and under-development in the State.
Amupitan who described the event as historic commended UNDP and other development partners as well as stake holders for their cooperation and support towards the production of the document which she described as the first in the North Central.
She indicated that the ministry would carefully study the document with a view to presenting it to the State Government for endorsement, launching and implementation.

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buharihas returned to Abuja after weeks on medical trip in London.
This was according to a statement from the presidency on Thursday.
The president had been heavily criticized for his perchance for medical expedition inspite huge budgetary allocation to the Presdential Villa clinic.
His critics also blamed him for embarking on such trip even when resident doctors in his country were on industrial action.
The presidential aircraft that brought Buhari and some of his aides touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m.
Dignitaries at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno.
Others were the service chiefs, acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director General of the State Securitt Services, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
President Buhari, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidentrtial helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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