Below are the headlines found on The Blueprint Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 9th  March, 2018.
Fri, 09 Mar 2018
As the world marks the international Women’s Day, the African Union Economic, Social a d Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria) has called on the federal government of Nigeria to implement strategies that would empower the rural Nigerian Woman.
The Council in a statement by the Nigeria representative Dr. Tunji Asaolu and the special adviser,  diaspora, Mrs Chinwe Maduike,  Thursday said the government should mobilise rural women leaders, organisations, and grassroots groups to claim their rights;
Strengthening local/national initiatives in rural communities and creating new women’s groups to rise for compliance.
“The government should also raise awareness of the multifaceted problems still facing rural women communities; educating for advocacy and providing empowerment tools; linking rural women and their communities to the wider International communities; ringing to light the inequalities and lack of progress in many rural areas, its multifaceted aspects of poverty, and the need to generate sufficient government and public support for improving life in rural areas; and reating new synergies at many levels between diverse actors (youth and women included) to empower communities.”
ASAOLU said in line with agenda 2063, the promotion of gender equality for the African Woman has been given high priority by the African Union and that this has been effectively implemented through result-oriented actions both within the secretariat and in member states with a wide range of International partners.
And that rural women across African remain amongst the most marginalised in terms of exclusion from political and economic power and that they often face numerous violations of their human rights as a result of intersectional discrimination, poverty and lack of access to essential services.
“Yet, many African rural women are also at the front lines of human rights advocacy, fighting for a better life for themselves, their families and communities. The obstacles that they face are often formidable, and the issues they raise often put them at risk of violence and abuse.
“In rural Africa, the role played by women is enormous, they produce up to 70% of the food grown on small farms. Yet, they receive only 30% of the support available. Reducing this gap and levelling the field for women isn’t just fair, it is crucial for the continent’s future: women invest 90% of their income into their family, providing their children with education, medical care and a better future. Rural women represent two-thirds of all illiterate people in Africa.
“Rural African women still own as little as 25% of the land, despite being the backbone of the agricultural sector. Ownership of agricultural assets such as land increases agricultural output which has a critical impact on food security and self-sufficiency. To empower more African rural women, our governments have to come up with a more transformative framework that will accelerate the desired change in the lives of women and girls, investing in women’s education, health, property rights, access to and control over financial resources, knowledge and information, all are fundamental. Women at all levels have to be at the fore front of the agriculture global value chains and markets found by their various government for their produce.
“African Union ECOSOCC Nigeria is commits to make that difference. But we can only make that difference when everyone is part of it: Governments, the private sector and civil society. We also advocate for new gender policies that are women friendly so that more of our rural women can be empowered,” he said
He said further that African Union, ECOSOCC has been working hard on all fronts to actively promote gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment.
And that the Women’s Day celebration is also an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: while ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
“AU ECOSOCC recognises rural African women as a particularly disadvantaged group in need of additional rights. All African Union ECOSOCC AU projects strongly stipulate and are geared towards ensuring that they like their urban counterparts should enjoy a wide array of rights: education, health care, and a selection of civil and political rights.
“Our female focused projects aim to enumerate the rights of the rural women related to participation in agriculture and development. These projects also include the right for rural women to organise self-help groups and cooperatives for the purpose of obtaining “equal access to economic opportunities through employment or self-employment in Nigeria”. Our projects also looks to implement a wide range of socioeconomic rights for all Women.
“These include rights to various types of infrastructure, including water, sanitation, transport, and housing to name a few.
We do know for a fact that rural women human rights defenders are often at risk of violence when working, for example, to protect victims, transform local customs or secure natural resource rights.’ Land grabbing, unfair land distribution, development projects, environmental degradation, extractive industries, and climate change have all placed increased stress on many rural communities in Nigeria/Africa,” he explained.
Contributing on efforts of the Council to improve the lots of women in Nigeria, Chinwe said in many cases, increasing contestation around land has resulted in mass displacement, which has particularly detrimental impacts for rural women.
Saying rural women have been at the forefront of many of the efforts to resist unfair demands to concede their lands, and many have met with extreme and sometime even fatal violence.
“We work with our International partners in various African countries, to improve women’s rights and development organisations, grassroots groups, and the media to mobilise communities, connect women, men, girls, and boys to work for continued change and ensure that especially rural women rise and claim their right to developments, equality, and peace.
“Our projects and female focused initiatives have largely being about creating widespread multi-sectoral interest and increased action by women’s groups and networks to gain the support from partners, local authorities, donors, and academics to bring their priorities and practices to the forefront of policy and programming for the reduction of vulnerabilities to disasters, climate change, and poverty. It serves as an additional platform for mobilisation and education of the public at large,” she explained.

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
A Statement issued Thursday  by Hanson Ghandi Tamfu, the External Relations/PI Officer  said  the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,  UNHCR, Mr . Filippo Grandi  said the celebration to mark 2018 International Women’s Day which  comes on the heels of a powerful global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice has reechoed the UNHCR commitment to uphold the rights of women and girls.
Themed,  “Time is Now” , he said this years international women’s day cane  at the right moment and also echoed UNHCR’s firm commitment to uphold the rights of women and girls while stressing that,  UNHCR also intend to ensure that our work to secure protection and solutions for displaced and stateless people takes full account of age, gender and diversity.
“Our aim is to build on the rich experience, capacities and aspirations of women and girls, and to help them realise their full potential – through better access to education, decent work, and legal and health services.

“We at UNHCR do very concrete work to advance these goals. In Lebanon, women represent over 50 percent of our outreach volunteers. In the Central African Republic, three centres are now helping displaced women to improve their literacy skills, address sexual and gender-based violence, and earn a living for themselves and their families.

” And in Malaysia, sustained investments in leadership, communication, and gender equality training, have boosted the number of refugee women taking part in community decision-making by 43%. There and in the rest of our operations across the world, UNHCR is taking action.

“We believe that we have a profound responsibility to make sure that the distinct voices of women and girls are heard and reflected at every step, and in all aspects of our work.

“We have taken our long-standing commitments on Age, Gender and Diversity, and deepened and updated them in a new policy, to reflect the lessons we have learned and to make sure that we are fully accountable to women, girls and all those whom we serve.

“We will invest in better monitoring, so that we can mark our progress in pursuing gender equality in our operations – and towards reaching planet 50/50 by 2030.

” International Women’s Day is also the right moment to redouble our commitment to stamping out sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. These are inexcusable. We at UNHCR, have been at the forefront of this fight and will continue to be.

“There is no place in our organization for those who do not share and respect our core values. I urge victims to speak out and stand for their rights. And I appeal to anyone who has witnessed sexual misconduct in the context of UNHCR operations to come forward and report it.

“We will continue to step up our support for victims and will strive to improve even further the ways in which we prevent, report and deal with cases of sexual misconduct.
Societies that benefit from the full potential of women and men alike, and where the rights of displaced women and girls are fully upheld, are not just a distant aspiration.
It is up to all of us to make them a reality, now. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has overruled its National Vice Chairman, South South, Prince Hilliard Eta on the conduct of the Cross River state Congress that held on February 24. According to APC NWC, the Cross River state congress was properly conducted as all requirements to it was fulfilled. []The post C/River crisis: APC makes u-turn, endorses February Congress appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The Defence Headquarters has described the statement by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu cautioning a military take over as derogatory to the Army and the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Senator Ike Ekweremadu on Wednesday 7 March 2018, while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Ahmed Ogembe, representing Kogi Central stated []The post Disregard any fear of military coup, DHQ assures Nigerians appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja said Nigerians in the areas affected by Boko Haram insurgency are in the best position to provide correct assessments of the changes that have taken place since he assumed office in 2015. Receiving a delegation from King Salman of Saudi Arabia at the Presidential Villa, the President said []The post Weve done our best in delivering campaign promises Buhari appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The Borno state police command has Thursday issued a 21-day ultimatum to residents of Borno state to surrender all sorts of illegal firearms in their possession or face prosecution. The Borno State Commissioner of Police, CP Damian Chukwu gave the ultimatum during a monthly press briefing with newsmen, all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers []The post Borno Residents Given 21 Days Ultimatum to Surrender Illegal Firearms to Police appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Staffers of Investment Security Tribunal (IST) have called for the immediate removal of the chairman, Mr Idoko Akoh, alleging highhandedness in the running of the organisations affairs. The staffers, under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Servants, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) spoke through their chairman, Ikechukwu Ogu during a protest []The post Investment Security Tribunal workers call for sack of chairman over highhandedness appeared 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the occasion of his 61st birthday anniversary, describing him as 'a man who epitomises humility, intelligence and patriotism.' In a congratulatory message he personally, Dogara extolled the virtues of the vice-president and saluted his 'unalloyed loyalty, dedication and []The post Dogara congratulates Osinbajo at 61 appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Anambra state Command, has disclosed that 22 persons were convicted for drug offences between January 2017 and February 2018. The state commander of the agency, Sule Momodu, made the disclosure in an interview with journalists in Awka yesterday. Momodu said the suspects were convicted for being in possession of []The post NDLEA convicts 22 in Anambra appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Over 100 chairmanship and 350 councillorship aspirants have so far purchased forms to contest for the forthcoming local government elections in Kaduna state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Acting Secretary of the party in Kaduna, Malam Yahaya Baba Pate, told newsmen at the party secretariat amidst the supporters that followed the []The post Kaduna LG polls: 450 aspirants seek APC forms appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will begin a pilot export of Nigerian dried beans to the European Union in April. UNIDO's Chief Technical Adviser, National Quality Infrastructure Project, Shaukak Malik, disclosed this on Monday at the opening of a three-Day capacity building for sustainability of the project, the Guardian Newspapers reported. UNIDO also said []The post Nigerian beans set for export to Europe ' UNIDO appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Navy yesterday disclosed that it has arrested 28 persons suspected to be masterminds of the killings in Omusu, Edumoga in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue state. Herdsmen had laid siege to Omosu, Edumoga community in Okpokwu local government area of the state on Monday and killed 26 persons among whom were women, []The post Benue killings: Navy arrests 28 'masterminds' appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Decries marginalisation of youths by party A forum of young stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which include young men and women from across the states, has called for caution in regards to the issue of tenure elongation for the party executives, especially the National Working Committee (NWC). The forum warned against any []The post Another crisis looms as APC youths declare NWC tenure elongation illegal appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Off ences Commission (ICPC) has a new Secretary to the Commission in the person of Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar. In a brief ceremony which was witnessed by the heads of departments and other senior management staff , the former acting Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Bako Abdullahi, said he []The post Abubakar takes over at ICPC appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The federal government has disclosed that it had appropriated over N600 million in the 2018 budget for execution of capital projects at the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has said. Speaking while commissioning the national headquarters of the board in Kaduna yesterday, he said government []The post FG votes N800m for Arabic, Islamic studies appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
It' an undisputable fact that in any democratic setting, opposition, criticism and alternative viewpoints are common and variegated as the constituents, meaning that it is to be expected given the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the polity and the political society. However, it is desirable that criticism and alternative viewpoints pass the test of being []The post 2019 and Bagudu's better fortunes, by HASHEEM BALARABE appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The World Economic Forum for 2018 may have come and gone, but the question that will linger remains what lessons African leaders took out of it. The summit in Davos had 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world' as its theme, and the issue of climate change was on the front burner once more. []The post Africa's takeaway from the World Economic Forum, by ADELE ADENIJI appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says the Nigerian Ports recorded a total of 4,175 ocean going vessels in 2017. In its Nigerian Ports Statistics 2012-2017' report, ocean-going vessel is a commercial ship greater than or equal to 400 feet in length or 10,000 gross tons, or propelled by a marine compression ignition engine []The post Nigerian ports record 4,175 ocean vessels in 2017'NBS appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) said it has set aside N6 billion as Northeast intervention fund to support exporters in the region. According to a statement by the bank yesterday in Abuja, the Managing Director, Mr Abba Bello, said the fund was part of government effort to rebuild the region. The MD, who was []The post NEXIM earmarks N6bn for North-east exporters appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 

Fri, 09 Mar 2018
The Fedaral Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), launched a new invention of automated plants for Kunu and Zobo drinks . The Director-General of FIIRO, Prof. Mrs Gloria Elemo, disclosed this at the ongoing Expo day two of the Technology and Innovation week 2018, yesterday in Abuja. According to her, she said the comment by []The post FIIRO launches 2 automated machines appeared first on Blueprint Newspapers. 
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