GBV: 13 states domesticate VAPP Act in 1 year- NGF

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says no fewer than 13 states have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act between June 2020 and June 202, as part of effort to curb Gender- Based Violence (GBV).

The forum disclosed this in a communiqué issued by its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after its 31st Teleconference held on Wednesday.

It quoted Fayemi as disclosing this while briefing the governors on several activities of the Forum including the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) which took place on June 10.

The chairman said that the June 10 meeting commemorated the first anniversary of the declaration of a state of emergency against GBV.

He acknowledged the commendable role of the NGWF and some of the appreciable milestones over the period.

He said that as of June 2020 only 14 states had domesticated the VAPP Act, while 27 states including FCT had passed the law with several others at advanced stages in the process of passing the law as of June.

He urged his colleagues the efforts of the NGWF and continue to treat sexual and gender-based violence as a priority.

The communiqué noted that the governors received an update on the Federal Government’s response to the from the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha.

It quoted Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), as commending the governors for rising to the challenge of the time by providing exemplary leadership and resources to curb impact of the pandemic in the country.

Mustapha called for governors continued action to maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 as well as sustained clinical care for patients.

The non-pharmaceutical interventions according to him include the enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines in public places and government institutions.

Others include heightened surveillance, risk communication, social mobilisation, testing and reporting of data and vaccination.

He noted that to bolster the government’s efforts, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the set-up of 38 oxygen plants in the country, with at least one plant in State and two in Lagos and Abuja.

He noted that a supplementary budget had also been submitted Federal Government to enable the country access additional vaccines for its citizens.

The communiqué also stated that the governors also received a briefing from Mrs Oyindamola Adedokun, the Programme Manager Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit,

It noted that Adedokun briefed the governors on the efforts to part-disbursement for the COVID-19 related Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) of the SFTAS programme was made in 2021.

She highlighted to the governors the progress of the states on the upcoming DLRs and 2021 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) Eligibility Criterion (2020 Audited Financial Statement), while informing them of the fast-approaching deadlines.

“Understanding the importance of the fiscal reforms required DLRs, and the EC being an eligibility condition for the 2021 phase of the programme, the governors committed to accelerating ongoing efforts to meet the deadlines.”

The DLRs included DLR 1.1 (FY21 Quarterly budget implementation report), DLR 8a (Published online an Arrears Clearance Framework), DLR 10.3 (Passed and implemented audit laws granting operational and financial autonomy to the Offices of the State and Auditor Generals).

DLR 11.2 (Prohibited the contracting-out of PIT assessment and collection to private consultants) and DLR 12.2 (Published online all COVID-19 related contracts executed between Q4 FY20 and Q1 FY21).

It added that Mr Zakari Ahmed, Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure (Secretary, Power Sector Reform Working Group), also delivered an update on activities of key electricity sector reforms.

These include the transfer of DISCO equity to States, transition strategies for electricity subsidies, and the management of State and ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) outstanding electricity bills.

“Following the presentation, the Forum resolved to review the proposals submitted by Zakari and communicate their position to the Power Sector Reform Working Group on a later date,” it added.

It added that the forum also deliberated on other issues of national importance particularly the signed Memorandum of Action (MOA) by major stakeholders.

It was a and witnessed of Labour and Employment as Chief Conciliator to address the ongoing industrial action by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).(NAN)