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Ecological challenges in Nigeria need focus

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By Mercy Kelani

Dr. Habiba Muda Lawal reveals the gender based challenges of the country.

Dr. Habiba Muda Lawal, FMR Secretary to the Government of the Federation, is a philanthropist, and a seasoned administrator who has initiated and facilitated the development of the National Gender Policy and its Implementation Framework. She was born on June 3, 1963, to the family of Alhaji Garkuwa Adamu at Bununu, Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. She was also the first girl in her local government to attend a Secondary School. A community where female Education is not encouraged.

The erudite scholar attended the Gyamzo Primary School, Toro from 1970-1976, before she proceeded to attain he West African School Certificate at the Federal Government College, Kaduna from 1976-1981. She thereafter pursued a career in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for B.Sc. Chemistry from 1982 to 1986. Proceeding in her career, she obtained a Master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry from ABU, Zaria, in 1991, and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, in 1997. Asides these, she also has a certificate in Professional and Personal Competence in Women’s Development from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Great Britain.

Dr Lawal held renowned posts in the country, leading women’s activities.

The gender advocate, Dr Lawal, stated that her career in Women Development was birthed through a British Chevening Scholarship which she got after her PhD, from the British Council. Through the scholarship, she was opportune to go for a Diploma in Development Planning, and a Professional and Personal Competence in Women’s Development. With experiences gained from this career, she mentioned some factors hindering women in Politics in Nigeria, are money, godfatherism, and cultural and patriarchal issues.

It is also to be acknowledged that the philanthropist has earned renowned posts in the country, leading female activities. She was the Director of Women’s Affairs, from 2005-2007. After which she became the Permanent Secretary, for Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in 2013. Afterwards, she became director of women affairs, piloting the development of the first Gender Policy for Nigeria. Awareness was also created to the issues of Nigerian women, granting them opportunities across sectors in different levels.

There are 2,700 ecological challenges across the country.

In addition, speaking on the country’s ecological fund and project office, she explained that the Ecological Fund was created in 1981, as a result of the Okigbo commission, with the purpose of ameliorating ecological challenges in the country. In a bid to achieve this, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission was set out a certain amount, just above 2 percent of the sales of crude, are to be put into use by the federation, to sort the ecological challenges.

She further stated that in 2017, after documenting all the ecological challenges in Nigeria, it occurred that there were over 2,700 ecological challenges across the country. This development means that the current ecological situation is static, and with no changes and development for the next 40 years. The volume of funds available at the moment would only solve the ecological problems which the country has presently. A disadvantage to the conclusion of the problems is that some agencies do not use funds received for ecological purposes.

The minimum ecological fund should be increased to five percent.

Dr Lawal therefore urged the government to review unfaithful agencies and increase the minimum fund to five percent of the whole derivation on ecology. The state should also own the ecological state office and ensure to utilize their funds just the way the federal government does. Public awareness, prevention, and advocacy should also be considered. These acts, when effectively put in place, would actively ameliorate the ecological challenges, and the sufferings of people, across the nation.


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