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WISCAR Collaborates with UN Women to Launch the Private Sector Forum on Gender-Responsive Procurement

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L-R: Fabia Ogunmekan, Advisory Board Member, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR); Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu, Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Patience Ekechukwu, Programme Officer, Women’s Economic Empowerment, UN Women; Folake Ani-Mumuney, Head, Sponsorships, Partnerships, Events & Collaborations, First Bank of Nigeria and Afiniki Mangzha, Executive Secretary, at the Establishment of the Private Sector forum hosted by WISCAR in Lagos recently, aimed at addressing gender inequality in procurement practices within Nigeria’s private sector.

Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), a non-profit and non-governmental organization committed to advancing professional women in Nigeria and across Africa in partnership with the UN Women and Development Partner, has officially launched the Private Sector Forum on Gender-Responsive Procurement, an initiative dedicated to advancing gender equality within Nigeria’s private sector.This forum aims to promote and implement gender-responsive procurement practices, enabling private sector actors to lead the change. By addressing the gender gap in procurement, this initiative seeks to enhance women’s economic empowerment, foster innovation, improve organizational performance, and boost market competitiveness.The Private Sector Forum has several objectives, such as highlighting the importance of gender-responsive procurement in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, identifying key challenges and opportunities in integrating gender and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) considerations into private sector procurement processes, and establishing a platform for ongoing dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collective action among private sector entities.

Other objectives are to create a collaborative environment for advancing gender equality through affirmative procurement practices, facilitate the exchange of best practices, strategies, and lessons learned, equip participants with practical tools and resources for implementing gender-responsive procurement practices within their organizations. Promoting networking and collaboration among stakeholders committed to advancing gender equality in procurement is also a key objective of the forum.“The establishment of this forum is a crucial step towards ensuring that women-owned and women-led businesses have equitable access to procurement opportunities,” said Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Founder of WISCAR. “By fostering collaboration and sharing best practices, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable economic landscape that empowers women, drives innovation, improves organizational performance, and enhances market competitiveness and socio-economic development.”The Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Dr. Dirisu Osasuyi, representing Tayo Aduloju, the CEO of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), emphasized the strategic business benefits of supplier diversity in her keynote address, “Supplier diversity, through the lens of gender inclusion in procurement opportunities, is not just a moral imperative or obligation, but a strategic business decision that can drive profitability and market share. We cannot overlook the gendered impact of corporate spending as the scale of corporate purchasing power can create catalytic value and shape diverse supply chains that unlock opportunities for women’s businesses and overall economic growth.”

The UN Women Nigeria, discussed “Operationalizing the Private Sector Forum.” The UN Women Nigeria outlined steps for private sector companies to start by signing on to WEPS, assessing procurement processes using the GRP assessment tool, developing a tailored action plan based on the results of the procurement assessment, and managing progress.The establishment of this forum represents a significant step towards reducing the gender gap in procurement, fostering a more inclusive business environment, and promoting sustainable economic development in Nigeria. Organizations that endorse the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) will benefit from valuable resources and guidance from UN Women, enhancing their credibility and reputation among stakeholders. By committing to gender-responsive procurement practices, Nigeria’s private sector can drive social and economic growth, ensuring that women-owned and women-led businesses gain equitable access to procurement opportunities, thereby contributing to a more innovative and competitive market.

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Gov AbdulRazaq Announces Minor Cabinet Reshuffle

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has effected a minor cabinet reshuffle involving four commissioners.

Those affected are the Commissioner for Social Development Hon. Afolashade Justina, who moves to Women Affairs; and the Commissioner for Women Affairs Hon. Bosede Olaitan Buraimoh who switches to Social Development.

Hon. Commissioner for Youth Development Nafisat Buge moves to the Ministry of Environment, whose Commissioner Hon. Shehu Ndanusa Usman moves to the Ministry of Youth Development.

The cabinet reshuffle takes immediate effect.

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Kwara Gov excited as Nigerian Army launches CBT Centre in Igbaja

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  • Gov hails Army’s support for internal security, seeks respect for security agencies
  • Army Chief lauds Gov’s support in Kwara, North Central • Gov attends Igbaja Day, now Taiyese of Irese Land

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday advocated more appreciation for the sacrifices of the security agencies, including the Nigerian Army.

He said the military has played important roles to support civilian authorities at all times, including at a time when the country was under intense pressure from hostile non-state actors.

The Governor spoke in Igbaja, Ifelodun LG of the state, at the commissioning of a Computer Based Testing (CBT) center, a special intervention project of the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Lieutenant General T. A. Lagbaja.

The project was executed by Major General Adelokun Eyitayo, a serving military officer and native of Igbaja Land, who also launched his three books, titled: ‘Life of Prince Daud and Spirituality; Tears for Suni and Titi; and The Boy on the Highland’.

“This Computer Centre means a lot for the socioeconomic growth of this community. Not only does it nudge members of the community towards acquisition of necessary skills for this age; it opens up new frontiers of socioeconomic benefits for Igbaja and communities around it,” the Governor said.

“I am also fascinated by the spirit behind this project. It is timely and necessary. The need for better military-civil relations cannot be over-emphasized. Recent developments in our country again suggest a need to deepen citizens’ appreciation of the sacrifices that our security forces make to keep us safe, stabilise the fabric of our society, and ward off every threat against the Nigerian state.

“Over the last two decades, the military has played very important roles to support civilian authorities at all times, including at a time when our country came under intense pressure from hostile non-state actors.”

AbdulRazaq commended the Federal Government and the Chief of Army Staff for establishing the CBT centre that he said will aid skill acquisition and boost socioeconomic growth of the area.

“We therefore cannot thank the federal government and our military enough. We must appreciate and honour members of our security forces, including military personnel deployed in internal operations and during emergencies, and cease all attacks on them,” he added.

The commissioning attracted various dignitaries, including the CoAS Lieutenant General T. A. Lagbaja, who was represented by Maj Gen Obinna Onubogu; the Elese of Igbajaland Oba Ahmed Awuni Arepo III; and Igbaja CBT Project Executor Major General Adelokun Eyitayo; among others.

Lagbaja, for his part, said the execution of the project further affirms the transformational drive of the Nigerian Army towards achieving its constitutional responsibility through a non-kinetic line of operations.

The Army Chief thanked Governor AbdulRazaq and the people of the state for their continued support for the operations of the Nigerian Army.

“The Nigerian Army has received tremendous support from your government. It is also gladdening to note that we have enjoyed cordial working relationships with you over the years, and your support has contributed immensely to our operational success within the state and the entire North Central region,” he said.

Maj Gen. Eyitayo thanked CoAS for the approval of the project and his unwavering support for its delivery.

He also appreciated the Governor for directing the purchase and supply of his three books for the use of students of public secondary schools in the state.

The Governor, meanwhile, attended the 2024 Igbaja Day celebration, where he urged the people of Igbaja to continue to recognise the rich cultural heritage and diversity that makes the community to be unique.

He congratulated the Elese of Igbaja, the Jagunmolu of Igbaja and founder of Al-hikmah University Chief Oladimeji Igbaja, and all sons and daughters of Igbaja community on the celebration, requesting them to continue to unite for accelerated growth.

“Let us embrace and celebrate our diversity, and continue to build bridges of understanding and empathy,” the Governor said.

“As you are aware, our administration has embarked on various projects that touched the lives of everyone across the state, including Igbajaland. We will continue to do more to improve the lives of our people.”

Chief Oladimeji, who was excited by the Governor’s culture of arriving early for events, praised AbdulRazaq for time management, and how the administration has executed many laudable programmes and projects in the town and elsewhere.

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Africa needs to be competitive, says Chike-Obi, Fidelity Bank’s Chairman

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Africa needs to be competitive and efficient in its area of strength, according to Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Chairman of Fidelity Bank, who spoke with CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor on the sidelines of the AFREXIMBANK Annual meetings in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Chike-Obi emphasized the importance of focused and sharp leadership in harnessing the continent’s strengths to achieve prosperity. He highlighted the need for Africa to identify areas of competitive advantage in producing goods and services efficiently to unlock its full potential.

He pointed out that success stories in areas like sports demonstrate Africa’s potential when leveraging advantages. However, he stressed the crucial role of collaboration and seamless interaction among African nations and regions for sustainable development.

The chairman urged for enhanced integration to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the continent, emphasizing the necessity to work collectively towards common goals.

Chike-Obi also addressed the importance of prioritizing Africa’s strengths, such as power supply, through cohesive policies and agreements to drive economic growth. He emphasized the need for coordinated banking policies to promote financial integration within Africa and with external partners, emphasizing the significance of streamlined banking services and transactions.

The Chairman highlighted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a significant opportunity for economic advancement but called for more practical implementation to ensure its effectiveness. He underscored the importance of execution in translating policies into tangible outcomes for the African people.

Reflecting on the annual meetings and the discussions on trade and investment, Chike-Obi reiterated the critical importance of collaboration for Africa’s progress, emphasizing that unity and concerted efforts are essential for realizing the continent’s potential.

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