The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, has urged civil servants to be more proactive in their responsibilities to enable government at all levels deliver on the social and economic rights of the people.
Mohammed made the call on Monday when she paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja.
The UN chief noted that it was fundamental to strengthen the social contract between the people and the government through the delivery of services by civil servants.
According to her, this is fundamental in fulfilling the rights and welfare of Nigerians.
“The public service institutions for which you joined for 30-35 years to serve Nigerians, we have to do something about that.
“Because the social contract between the people and government is really not in a good place.
“It has to be strengthened, the rights of the people are only as good as they are delivered,” she said.
According to her, the UN and the Federal Government are making efforts to strengthen public institutions and protect basic human rights.
“Hence, public servants are expected to reciprocate the gesture by being more committed, sincere and proactive in their duties,” she said.
Mohammed further urged Nigerians to build on the strength of the country’s diversity through cohesion and togetherness as it was important in charting a way forward for more development.
She noted the degradation of cultural and societal values among young Nigerians and called for a unified action to entrench moral values to tackle issues of rape of minors and Gender Based Violence (GBV) among others.
On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, commended Mohammed for promoting issues of women and for being a role model for girls who aspired to take leadership positions in politics and other fields.
Tallen, therefore, called for more support in the areas of more women in political space and the fight against gender-based violence.
She further acknowledged the giant strides Nigerian women were making in leadership positions across the world.
The minister congratulated Nigerians on the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
Speaking on behalf of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Mrs Saudatu Mahdi of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative called for financial support from the UN donor agencies to enable them go to grassroots and obtain data on GBV and Violence Against Women.
She said their interaction with grassroots women had not been easy because a lot of them were not so willing to come out and speak on their challenges especially on issues of GBV and the rape of minors.
“Getting data from the grassroots is very expensive because it demands a lot of money for logistics among others and as CSOs, we have meager resources and this makes our work harder, therefore, we will appreciate some form of financial aid to enable us work with ease,” she said.
Similarly, Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, President of Medical Women International Association stressed the need to address the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on women, particularly the mental health. (NAN)