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FEATURE

Effects of civilization on mode of dressing

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By Olawuni Rebecca

The effects of civilization on mode of dressing is one of the big factors that has no doubt which gingered many nations of the world especially the developing nation (Nigeria) to join the race in the pursuit of technology. Nigeria joined the race through the restructuring of our educational system that paves way for acquisition of scientific process, skills, creativity and resourcefulness which emanates in our language, religion, beliefs, dressing and political organisation.

The above words mentioned are parameters considered sine-qua-non for the acquisition of psychological emancipation which reflected in our cultural behaviour in which it depicted in our mode of dressing among Nigerians both old and young ones, males and females etc.

The effects of civilization are phenomenon that hurt in the total ways of life of human kind.  In Nigeria,  today, Man as a biological organization engages in so many activities in order to survive. The essential activities which man engaged in; were farming in modern way, travelling, building of houses in another dimension which is quite different from our cultural traits of our forefathers’ legacy left behind in terms of compound living.

Also, available of information to a cross-section of people within a short period of time is another of effect of civilization.  This effect also, reflected in our mode of dressing which is the topic to be debated upon.

As Science and technology brought dimensional civilization in various forms, such as in language, communication, belief system, working and production activities, were even affecting the dressing system of our people in Nigeria.

The acculturation or enculturation plays both negative and positive effects on our culture especially dressing system.

The effects of civilization on man helps at times to manipulate forces in his environment to his favour which brings changes in all human endeavours, such as mode of dressing.

For instance, through various film shows, cell-phone, internet and computer that show effect of foreign attire are being imbibed which systematically put us out of our mode of dressing from inception.

For instance, Yoruba is known for ‘Agbada’, ‘Buba’ and ‘Sooro’ for male while female wore ‘Iro and Buba’ (Wrapper and short top) but it is now in vogue.

Many female now wear modern skirts and blouses or dresses that are exposed part of our navel while male puts on rags jeans, and put on a ear rings. Some youths put on half trousers referred to as ‘sag’ which prisoner or inmates wore in the developed countries like UK, America etc in the name of civilizations.

As it is peculiar to Yoruba, likewise to other tribes in Nigeria particularly Africa. In Ghana,  ‘Kente’ dress/clothes is being modernized through the effects of civilization on dressing.

In view of these, as it is showed that dressing does not only mirror social structure, gender and power, but also moral sensibilities, aesthetic values, even social hypocrisy.

As culture entails total ways of life of a particular society or nations which involves, language, belief and over all patterns of living.  The acceptable ways of dressing of each community could be judged from the culture of such society.

Dressing as a cultural arrangement in Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa in Nigeria has its patterns and portability and differs religiously, socially and naturally from those of other tribes as being mentioned above.

Nowadays, the mode of dressing of many youths, man and woman in society has become not conform to the established decorum. This needs urgent intervention and necessary corrections, not only to retain this cultural elements, but for decency.

The writer examine mode and pattern of dressing in this environment before the foreign culture is considered. The acceptable way of dressing in the society before the influences of foreign culture and civilization which eroded the dignity of mode of dressing.

It is also showed the acceptable way to improve this with the changing trends of society, globalization in respect to aspect of living and the consequences of uprightness and culturally acceptable dressing mode.

For Instance, we should desist from inculcating or imbibing the foreign culture, because what favours Africa patters dressing has been abandoned  for foreign culture. As a result of this, we failed to realise that the African weather and communal living favour our mode of dressing when compared to other countries of the world where some lived in the desert like ‘Pakistan’ that their climate allowed to put on light clothes like lawn or cotton. But if the climate of some countries is cold then very warm clothes are being wore by the people.

Conclusively, the civilization effect on dressing reduces the roles of culture which is very significant in any society and countries because the cultural role is to shape the norms and standards of any society.  Nowadays, many do not know when to wear a particular dress. Such indecent dress brings about many atrocities in our society.

For instance, the case of raping is rampant among the youths due to the mode of their dressing in public.

This perception is our focus when we considering dress and its effects through civilization which is the standard way of Yoruba culture. A popular Yoruba adage says “Irin ti a rin ni a n koni”, meaning, it is the way one appears that determined how such a person will be treated

Because the tradition of Yoruba to dress decently and neatly to be considered well dressed treated in such manner. The mode of dressing of individual is an identity of each tribe in Nigeria and in diaspora.

Written by:Mrs.   Olawuni  Rebecca T.

Assistant Chief Museum

Education Officer,

National Museum,

Ile-Ife

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FEATURE

KGG Hub and Nedogas Plant: NCDMB and its strategic partnerships

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On June 6, 2024, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, commissioned two multibillion-naira assets of strategic importance to the nation namely; the 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) Kwale Gas Gathering (KGG) Hub and Nedogas Modular Gas Plant.

It signalled the full commencement of operations at the 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) Kwale Gas Gathering (KGG) Hub and Nedogas Modular Gas Plant by the project promoter, Nedogas Development Company Limited, a joint venture company between Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Xenergi Limited, an indigenous company.

It was the latest in a string of successes recorded by the NCDMB in strategic partnerships, most notable among which are Waltersmith Petroman Oil Company Ltd, owner and operator of the 5,000-barrel per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area, Imo State, and Duport Midstream Company Ltd, owner and operator of Duport Energy Park, Egbokor, Edo State.

To the Minister and chief executive officers (CEOs) of the federal agencies at the June 6 event, it was an occasion for celebration as the facilities came on stream, a remarkable milestone in the actualisation of Federal Government’s Decade of Gas Programme, launched in 2020, and the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, initiated earlier in 2015. In that commissioning ceremony also was sufficient evidence of NCDMB’s dedication to creating in-country value through strategic partnership with indigenous oil and gas companies.

The Minister, Rt. Hon. Ekpo said the event represented “a significant advancement in the country’s efforts to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and economic expansion.”

Also, it marked “a major turning point in Nigeria’s continuous quest to use its abundant natural gas resources for the country’s development.” Evidently gratified, he declared, “It gives us [Federal Executive Council] immense pride.”

By the reckoning of the Federal Government the facilities would solve “a persistent environmental issue” through the process of capturing associated gas that would otherwise be vented. The process, he noted, “turns a potentially waste product into a useful resource.”

In a summation of what the KGG Hub and Nedogas Plant mean for the country, the Minister declared, “A greater supply of gas will boost the electricity supply to industry, improve industrial productivity, and offer more environmentally friendly home energy options. Thus, our people’s quality of life will improve, sustainable development will be promoted, and Nigeria will be positioned as a major player in the world energy market.”

He would not leave out the agents of what he described as “these outstanding initiatives,” to whom he paid glowing tribute.

According to Rt. Hon. Ekpo, “The NCDMB and Nedogas Limited, of which Xenergy Limited is a part, deserve praise for their tireless work and steadfast dedication to this admirable cause.” Their collaboration, he emphasised, “serves as evidence of the effectiveness of our local content policy, which seeks to increase the involvement of Nigerian businesses in the oil and gas industry while promoting local knowledge and capability.”

Creative engineering and forward-thinking planning on their part, as well as joint public-private sector efforts, he said, had made the monumental accomplishment possible.

The Executive Secretary, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe, spoke as industry regulator and chief implementor of Nigerian Content as enshrined in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010. He was categorical about the vision and mission of his agency and the mode of its interventions to advance the objective of local capacity building and utilisation of in-country resources.

He said, “We are proud of our strategic projects we are developing in partnership with other [Nigerian] investors in the last 10 years, especially in the gas sector. These projects are geared towards actualising the Federal Government’s policy direction. We would like to emphasise that NCDMB is a business enabler, not just a regulator of local content.”

According to Engr. Ogbe, “Our mandate under the NOGICD Act is to promote development and utilisation of local capacities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry,” and that the facilities would also “serve as catalysts for local content development, job creation,” and a lot else.

Pursuant to that mandate, the Board had ensured utilisation of local capacities on an unprecedented scale in the construction of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 project, resulting in 50 percent domiciliation of the US$12 billion expenditure. And only recently, NCDMB teamed up with SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Ltd to build a world-class gas development research facility at Delta State University, Abraka, to develop local capacity.

As he rounded off his address, Engr. Ogbe declared, “We are not just celebrating; we are reaffirming our commitment to the principle of Nigerian Content development. According to him, “NCDMB will continue to support initiatives that promote local content, drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of all Nigerians.”

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FEATURE

Meet Ibadan fastest growing female cobbler, Bami Oníbàtá

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By Toheeb Babalola

Championing the world’s oldest professions by women ought not to emerge as a surprise due to the fact that all genders have equal fundamental rights in choosing careers without prejudice.

Shoemaking industry has been a key industry in Sub Saharan Africa dominated by male gender since the 18th century. Shoemaking, which is a business of joining leather, soles and materials to produce sandals, shoes, flip-flops, etc. for the use of human beings, had outrightly shut out females.

The root of this inequality could be traced to the African belief which placed women in the kitchen, and this has deprived them of their creative abilities to be seen or heard for decades. The tradition only prioritised men as the breadwinners of each household.

With the consistent awareness and advocacy for gender equality all around the globe, women have risen from their slumber, freed themselves from barriers and have started pursuing whatever profession they want. Nonetheless, Africa is blessed with extraordinary women who are already flourishing in the businesses initially owned by their counterparts, and Miss Mudirat Olabami Abayomi, seems to be one of them.

In a recent interview with Nigerian NewsDirect Newspapers at her workshop in Sango, Ibadan, Miss Abayomi, professionally called ‘Bami Onibata – Yoruba meaning of “the shoemaker,” revealed her struggles in the industry.

Bami Oníbàtá is an alumnus of one of the great citadels of learning in South-West Nigeria, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, she makes different kinds of footwear in less than three (3 hours) hours without any helping-hand.

She stormed the shoemaking industry with the passion of changing the narrative and pioneering the inclusion of women (most especially Ibadan residents) in the trade.

The 25-year-old shoemaker was officially welcomed into the profession at  a workshop in Oke Ado, Ibadan South West Local Government Area of Oyo State, immediately after her National Diploma, ND, programme, where she learned how to make Ankara shoes and bags for the female gender.

As a dynamic woman, Bami never allowed the lockdown (occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic) in 2020, deter her resolve to achieve fame in her chosen career, as she was always reporting for duty, finding her way from her Oluyole residence to her master’s workshop, it also did not stop her from fully delving into making different shoes for both gender. This endeared her to her trainer and master, especially her commitment and accuracy.

Bámi stated that, “In our workshop, we make shoes from scratch and my master hates sluggishness. I knew what I was up against and I did everything to prove I could learn faster. So, I learned everything in shoemaking within six months; though, I must confess that it wasn’t easy.”

Her commitment and diligence while learning the trade with other male apprentices endeared Bámi to her master’s clients, who always preferred her to repair their shoes for them to test her level of understanding of the trade.

But, she proved them all wrong in their perceived insinuations, springing surprises on them.

She however revealed that stereotypism by the male gender, who believes that she is foraging into an exclusive world of the male gender has not made things easy, she said, “The underestimation from people, especially the male gender, who are into it already relegate my gender from the trade. Since I delved into the profession, there has been little turn out.”

However, she enjoyed the support of her parents and relatives, and this has smoothen her journey into the shoemaking world. “Since I told them the reasons for my decision, they have nothing than to support me morally and financially,” she enthused.

Bámi Oníbàtà obtained her freedom from her master in December 2020, and ended up securing a job in one of the best shoemaking firms in Ibadan, Mow Footies, where she worked for 10 months before returning to school for her Higher National Diploma, HND, in 2021.

Combining lectures, which run from morning till evening with her work, Bámi began to source for clients on social media, making use of her friend’s workshop near The Polytechnic, Ibadan main gate.

“Most times, I will have to rush to the workshop during a break after two lectures, and rush back just to attend another lecture. And sometimes, I will work till night, just to meet up with the deadlines of my clients. I don’t fail my clients. My four-hour time frame for delivery/pick does not change,” She added.

With her commitment to delivery time, Bámi got more clientele through her clients, who recommended her and gave good feedback about her. She has made shoes for lecturers at her department; they recommended her to their colleagues in and outside the campus.

“There was a particular lecture, Public Relations Case Studies, the course lecturer, Mr. Olubukola Adio, used my brand, Bámi Oníbàtà, as a case study for the course. It gives my work more publicity on campus,” She revealed with a smile.

Bámi has been nominated for an award in the Best Entrepreneur category by the Union of Campus Journalists, The Press Council, TPI, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, which will come up on August 11.

Bámi, also a freelance On-Air-Personality, OAP, is currently conducting her final academic research study for the award of Higher National Diploma, HND, in Mass Communication.

She has a piece of advice for her gender, she encourages others not to feel inferior in anything they set out to do.

Addressing issues surrounding gender inequality, Fatimah Id¹ra, a Journalist and Gender-based Activist, clamoured for full participation of women in all sectors. Stressing that some professions are still lacking women representation.

Fatimah, crediting Bami, stated that female shoemakers are more influential than their male counterparts, and they easily drive the market and make profits despite the tough economy.

“It is not news that the women are doing better than the men in any area of specialisation. In journalism, as a case study, women are getting shortlisted for international fellowships and winning more investigative awards within and outside Nigeria. This is to confirm the fact that we (women) are taking over the world,” she said.

Bami Oníbàtá is currently embarking on a journey to camp for a year of mandatory youth service, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

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FEATURE

Minimum Wage: Addressing poor implementation by states

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Minimum Wage  – the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period – remains a  sensitive matter.

The purpose of establishing a minimum wage is to protect workers against exploitation, reduce income inequality, alleviate poverty and promote social and economic well-being.

In Nigeria,  minimum wage is based on monthly income with an average working period of eight hours daily and five days weekly.

It is expected to be reviewed every five years. The last review was in 2019, from N18, 000 to N30,000.

As Nigerian workers expect  a new minimum wage in 2024,  President Bola Tinubu has promised that it will take effect from April.

Workers’ expectations on the minimum wage have been high through their two major labour centres, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Workers cross the country are optimistic that the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, which was set up by the Federal Government on Jan. 30 to determine the new minimum wage, will be realistic  in determining the new wage amount.

They expect the committee to put into consideration the high inflation rate of 31.7 per cent in February from 29.9 per cent reported by the National Bureau of Statistics in January, among other factors.

The President of the NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero, had stated that if the inflation would continue,  organised labour might push for a new minimum wage of up to one million Naira for Nigerian workers.

Proposals by TUC and NLC at recent public hearings in the six geopolitical zones and Abuja, indicate that the organised labour may slash the demand from one million Naira but still expects the wage to be able to absorb financial pressures faced by the Nigerian worker today.

During the zonal public hearings in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa and Abuja, workers in the North-West requested for N485,000, North-East, N560,000; North-Central, N709,000 (NLC), and N447,000 (TUC); South-West, N794,000; South-South, N850,000; and South-East, N540,000 by  NLC and N447,000 by TUC.

According to the Chairman of Enugu State Chapter of the NLC, Mr Fabian Nwigbo, the value of N30,000 minimum wage approved in 2019 had been battered by inflation and worsening economic hardship.

Nwigbo argues that Nigerian workers remain the least paid in the entire West Africa.

“We are asking our leaders to consider the plight of Nigerians. It should be N540,000 per month,” he recommends.

The Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Chris Onyeka, regrets that many workers can no longer afford their rents or pay their children’s school fees.

He is also worried that with increase in the cost of transport by almost 300 per cent, many civil servants are trekking to work.

Onyeka says every worker  wants to earn a favourable income.

‘’We expect that the minimum wage will take care of the basic needs of the average  Nigerian family.

“How much will that be? A loaf of bread that used to cost N600 is now almost N2,000.

‘’For a family of six, will a loaf of bread be enough for them  in a whole day? Will they not also, at least, take water to eat that bread?

‘’An average family will not spend anything less than N15,000 everyday to take care of themselves; we are talking about a salary that will meet those needs,” he emphasises.

The Lagos State Chairman of Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Mr Ismail Adejumo, is looking forward to a holistic review of the minimum wage.

Adejumo, who is also the Public Relations Officer, NLC, Lagos State Chapter, says:  “There are parameters to be considered, and  expectations from the workforce in terms of productivity too can be measured side-by-side with what government will do in terms of fixing minimum wage.

“As for the parameters, the cost of commodities is a key factor, and the issue of transportation is a key factor.

“We should also be looking at the issue of housing, we have shortage of housing in Lagos vis-a-vis the population; it is really affecting most working class.”

While expectations on the new minimum wage remain high, analysts argue that the challenge about minimum wage in Nigeria is not approval but implementation especially by state governments and some  private employers.

They argue that since inception, minimum wage in Nigeria has suffered non-compliance by some state governments and private employers due to inability to pay and reluctance to pay.

Thus, they believe that ability to pay is very crucial when considering review of minimum wage.

At the recent public hearing organised by the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage across the six geo-political zones of the country, Osun State Gov. Ademola Adeleke, who represented the governors in the South-West Zone, said that states lacked equal ability to pay.

‘’While it will be desirable to see that a uniform minimum wage is agreed to on a national basis, it will amount to self-deceit to assume that states have equal ability to pay.

‘’To this effect, I will humbly advise that individual states will have to negotiate with their workers and agree to a realistic and sustainable minimum wage in line with available resources, ‘’ Adeleke said.

However,  the Assistant General Secretary of NLC, Onyeka, argues that  state governments are not complying because there are no consequences for their non-complaince.

‘`If there were, I believe, many will be complying.

‘’The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, which is empowered by law to check abuses and violations of the extant law, does not have the capacity to monitor or enforce.

‘’When we look at the mechanism put in place by the Act to check non-compliance, reporting and enforcement, is the mechanism effective? It has to be strengthened, so that it will become effective,” he argues.

Prof. Kemi Okuwa, a Research Professor at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, notes that Nigeria is number 44 in minimum wage cadre in Africa.

Okuwa made a presentation at the recent South-West Zonal public hearing, which took place in Lagos

According to her, the current N30,000 minimum wage is equivalent to $20 per month.

For the Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, there must be critical review  of the current minimum wage by all stakeholders.

Oyerinde also urges appropriate recommendations, approval and implementation.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) wants the tripartite committee to take into account the present circumstances, unique characteristics of individual states, and their effects on the abilities of both governments and private sector employers to pay, when determining the  new wage amount.

In a communiqué issued after its virtual meeting, and signed by its Chairman and Kwara  governor. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, and made available to journalists on Thursday, the NGF said: “Members reviewed the progress of the National Minimum Wage Committee and ongoing multi-stakeholder engagements towards agreeing on a fair minimum wage.

“Members urged the National Minimum Wage Committee to consider the current realities, individual states’ peculiarities, and consequential impact on the capacity of  government as well as private sector employers to pay.

“Members also emphasised the need for proposals to be data-driven and evidence-based,” he said. Analysts urge the 37-member  tripartite committee, comprising government representatives, the organised labour, and employers association, to ensure that the new minimum wage reflects the evolving economic landscape.

They advise that the minimum wage should  meet the needs of the Nigerian  worker, urging also that it should be implementable and sustainable.

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