UNHCR Seeks $135m for Fleeing Boko Haram Victims
By Dipo Olowookere
The United Nations refugee agency, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has launched an appeal for $135 million to assist hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the worsening Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin region.
The appeal, tagged 2019 Nigeria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP), was launched in partnership with the UN Development Programme and other partners.
With more 250,000 children, women and men already uprooted from northeast Nigeria, surging militant attacks targeting civilians and are forcing thousands more to run for their lives each day. Young girls, old women and aid workers continue to bear the brunt of this escalating violence.
A recent upsurge in violence in north-east Nigeria has driven more than 80,000 civilians to seek refuge in already crowded camps or in towns in Borno State, where they are surviving in tough living conditions.
Nigerian refugees continue to arrive in very remote and impoverished communities in neighbouring countries. An estimated 30,000 have fled the city of Rann over the weekend alone to seek refuge across the Cameroonian border.
Thousands have also fled to neighbouring Cameroon and Chad in recent weeks. The hostilities have strained humanitarian operations there and forced aid workers to pull out from some locations. The destruction of livelihoods and infrastructure is widespread.
The escalation in the conflict has thwarted people’s intention of returning to their homes. Some refugees that attempted to return to their homes and communities have become displaced multiple times inside Nigeria or have become refugees a second time in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The newly launched aid appeal aims to broaden the humanitarian response towards a longer-term approach – to support those forced to flee and the communities hosting them. Refugee hosting communities are already living below the poverty line and in dire need of aid themselves with their ability to help the displaced being stretched to the limit.
The 40 UN agencies and humanitarian organizations that joined the 2019 Nigeria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) will cater for the needs of a quarter million Nigerian refugees and 55,000 of their hosts in Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
A total of some 2.5 million people are displaced across the Lake Chad region including more than 1.8 million inside Nigeria.
A Refugee Response Plan (RRP) is a UNHCR-led, inter-agency planning and coordination tool for large-scale or complex refugee situations. A similar appeal of US$157 million launched in 2018 was only 42 per cent funded, compared to 56 per cent of the US$241 million needed in 2017.
The UN and its partners are also seeking $848 million to continue providing food, water, shelter and protection to the most vulnerable people in Nigeria, as part of the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy for the country, which is simultaneously launched in Abuja.
NLC, TUC Suspend Wednesday’s Nationwide Strike
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The planned nationwide strike action earlier fixed for Wednesday, June 7, 2023, by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has been suspended by the unions.
The labour unions suspended the industrial action on Monday night after a meeting with the federal government at the Presidential Villa.
Nigerian workers had planned to stay away from work to protest the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech last Monday.
Recall that earlier yesterday, the central government obtained an interim order from the National Industrial Court to stop the industrial action by the labour organisations on the argument that the strike could paralyse the country.
Justice O.Y. Anuwe restrained the NLC and the TUC from the action pending the determination of the motion of notice, which was fixed for a hearing on June 19, 2023.
Later in the day, the labour unions and the federal government held a meeting, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been appointed as the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, informed newsmen last night that a committee would be set up to discuss ways to resolve the issues amicably.
“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC would review World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.
“The federal government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.
“The labour centres and the federal government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.
“The labour centres and the federal government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.
“The federal government to provide a framework for maintaining roads and expanding rail networks across the country.
“The joint committee will assess all other demands submitted by the TUC to the federal government,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting said.
Business Post reports that after the NLC and the TUC agreed to “suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations,” they fixed June 19 to reconvene a meeting with the government “to agree on an implementation framework.”
Subsidy Removal: Court Stops Proposed Nationwide Strike by NLC, TUC
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The proposed nationwide strike to kick against the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government may suffer a setback as the National Industrial Court (NIC) has restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from going on with the action.
In a ruling on an interim order sought by the federal government on Monday in Abuja, Justice O. Y. Anuwe ordered the unions to stop the strike pending the determination of a suit filed by the government.
The judge directed the government to serve the NLC and the TUC the interim order and the substantive suit marked NICN/ABJ/158/2023, fixing June 19, 2023, for hearing of the matter.
“The defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on the planned Industrial Action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 5th June 2023.
“It is ordered that the defendant/ respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the motion on notice, and the order of this court hereby made.
“The motion on notice is hereby fixed for hearing on 19th June 2023. Hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/respondents along with the other processes,” Justice Anuwe ruled.
Business Post reports that the Federal Ministry of Justice filed an ex-parte motion to stop the planned industrial action by the labour unions, arguing that the strike was capable of disrupting economic activities, the health sector and the educational sector.
Momentum Gathers for Second Adire Lagos Experience
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Stakeholders in the Nigerian textile industry are getting prepared for the second Adire Lagos Experience organised by Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
Momentum is gathering for this event slated for June 9 to 11, 2023, because the first edition, held at the ultra-modern Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) complex in Victoria Island, was the talk of the town.
Participants used the occasion to network and get the latest designs in the local adire fabric.
Ecobank has assured that this year’s programme would be bigger as those expected are top government officials from Lagos, Ogun and other neighbouring states, the CEO of Adire Oodua Textile Hub and wife of Ooni of Ife, Mrs Ronke Ogunwusi; the CEO of Dye Lab, Ms Joke Ladoja; the Creative Director, Afume Global Concepts, Mrs Funmi Sosanya; and the CEO, Aga Culture & Upbeat, Moyo Ogunseinde, among others.
The event is being partnered with the National Union Textile Garment Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (Adire Sector) and will involve the exhibition of new designs of the fabric.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, said the exhibition is part of the bank’s contribution to boosting the nation’s tourism, culture and creative industry using Adire as a key driver, adding that, high profile exhibitors, vendors, dignitaries from different parts of the world have indicated interest to be part of the event.
“The bank was encouraged by the success of the maiden edition last year. It is in line with our brand promise as a Pan-African Institution to promote culture and boost tourism on the continent.
“We expect topflight exhibitors, expatriates, influencers, dignitaries from all walks of life and members of the public at the three days event,” she said.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi stated that the event would feature a series of masterclasses and exhibitions, as well as networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, shoppers and everyone interested in the making or trading of Adire, adding that the bank has provided a cosy ambience with utmost serenity to make participants feel comfortable and safe.
She added that, “Participation is free, and you are welcome to invite family and friends to come over to witness the beautiful event.
“This exhibition also presents an opportunity not only to sell and buy products but to experience the luxuriance in our culture.
“In addition to the wonderful display of Adire clothing and products, there will be masterclasses on Adire production, picture-perfect moments, and music to vibe.”
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