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Global Affairs Canada, ActionAid commend Gov Mbah on Empowerment Programmes

The Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the ActionAid Nigeria have commended Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State for the series of empowerment programmes initiated by the government to improve the standard of living of women, promote gender equality and protect both women and children from gender-based violence and other forms of abuse.  

They gave the commendation when a delegation led by the GAC Head of Development Cooperation, Djifa Ahado, and the Country Director of ActionAid in Nigeria, Andrew Mamedu, paid a visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu, on Tuesday.

Expressing the desire of GAC to continue its partnership with the state government, Ahado said the organization had 15 implementing partners, who were engaged to address gender-based violence, women’s peer education programmes to eliminate gender mutilation, women’s political participation and leadership, and women’s economic empowerment, among other programmes.

She added that GAC, through ActionAid Nigeria, had invested a total of ₦261,382,261.29 as grants to its partners, which had impacted over a million beneficiaries.

Calling for more collaboration between the body and the state government, Ahado lamented that among the challenges faced by GAC included rising violence against women, limited support for gender equality initiatives and insufficient funding and resources to support women’s rights movement.

On his part, Mamedu of ActionAid lauded the effective and strong collaboration between the state government and ActionAid in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, saying that deliberate investment in women’s rights had a profound impact on sustainable development.

The Country Director, who was represented by the ActionAid Head of Programmes, Celestine Odo, further underscored that one of the laudable projects of the two bodies that had achieved significant result in the empowerment of women and girls was the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria (WVL-N) made possible by the cooperation of all the organs involved.

According to him, the achievements made so far by the organisations in the state were as a result of the resilience and collective effort of all their partners and the communities that benefitted from the projects.

Reacting to the visit, Governor Mbah appreciated the development organisations for selecting Enugu as one of their project states, a decision he believed must have been informed by his administration’s policies of transparency, accountability and integrity.

He said the state recently passed the ranching law to end open grazing, introduce a modern method of grazing and ensure the safety of farmers across the 17 LGAs of the state.

While reassuring that the administration had a zero tolerance for gender-based violence, the governor cited several occasions where the government had arrested culprits of gender-based assault and promised that justice would continue to be served as they were already facing prosecution.

Governor Mbah also disclosed some of the critical steps being taken by the government to eliminate maternal and child mortality through the strengthening of the primary healthcare system, the construction of 260 type-2 primary healthcare hospitals with modern facilities, and the recruitment of thousands of healthcare workers that would be deployed across all the health centres in the state.

He also stressed that the administration, right from the inception of office, had a principle that supports Affirmative Action with women constituting more than 28 per cent of his appointees.

He explained that the 260 smart green schools in the state, which pilot was already fully functional, was a deliberate step to expose the girl-child to early quality education with free meals that would boost their health.

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Written by Jude Diugwu

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