FG, USAID commission vulnerable children database situation room

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Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs

By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja

As part of programmes marking this year’s ‘16 Days Activism Against Gender-Based Voilence,’ the Minister of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), commissioned Vulnerable Children Database Situation Room for accurate data processing aimed at ending issues of vulnerable children in Nigeria.

Nigerian NewsDirect learnt this happened during the project commissioning ceremony held in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister described the newly commissioned Vulnerable Children Database Situation Room as a milestone in advocacy for availability of credible data for addressing issues and challenges of vulnerable children in Nigeria.

Dame Tallen explained that Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Situation Room is “Holding on the wings of the 16-Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.”

She added that since the commencement of the National Response on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in 2005, issues of data collection and reporting were major challenges facing stakeholders.

“With stakeholders support and engagement, the Ministry was initially able to develop a paper-based data system that had multiple challenges, clogging down the wheel of progress on OVC service delivery and data tracking.

“The gap in OVC data availability and reporting, despite the NOMIS prompted series of collaborative efforts between the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, USAID and Data to revitalize the database by redesigning the NOMIS architecture to meet world standard, ensure compatibility with other databases and upgrading of the server.

“The result of these efforts has brought us thus far to this historic event of a repositioned OVC situation room where real time data can be obtained with ease. This effort will no doubt enhance the Data Generation and Management at National, Regional and international levels during meetings on children.”

The Minister commended the USAID Mission Director, Anne Peterson and her team for their commitment towards the refurbishment of the OVC Situation Room towards achieving our set goals on OVC data availability for proper program planning and implementation to enhance OVC service delivery in the country.

On her part, the USAID’ Mission Director in Nigeria, Anne Peterson urged stakeholders in the sector to scale up support for government and humanitarian groups.

“Please come on board to support the vision of the Ministry by utilizing the Situation Room to develop evidence-based planning and programming hinged on credible data. We can all through commitment and foresight emulate the contributions of USAID and commit to a harmonious and sustainable data system that will place Nigeria in the League of Nations that are data compliant in accountability and commitments.”

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Engr. Olufunso Adebiyi, who was represented by the Director of Economic Services of the Ministry, Mr. Idris Mohammed assured all Nigerians and partners of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs that the Ministry will continue to take the lead and provide all the necessary support needed to ensure that OVC data is readily available in the country for proper programme planning.

In a related development, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice Abubakar Malami SAN, declared open the Mock Court Trials organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice; the FCT High Court in collaboration with the European Union (EU) through the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme.

Malami was ably represented by a Director in Federal Ministry of Justice, Abdullahim Shaibu, at the Mock Court held on Tuesday in Abuja to celebrate the 16-Days of Activism against Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

The Attorney General of the Federation who been at the forefront of commemorating the Activism days said the mock court trials are imperative to the importance and necessity for the establishment/designation of specialized SGBV Courts in Nigeria.

During the course of the program, Malami presented the first mock court case scenarios on the defilement of a child and highlighted pertinent issues with regards to the case vis-a-vis the Nigerian Legal System. In the case of Federal Republic of Nigerian v Akpan Obi.  In this case, the accused, Mr. Akpan Obi was accused of defiling a minor.  After the Court’s proceedings, he was found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

He further emphasized the importance of competent personnel that handles the SGBV case, “It is imperative to train investigators and prosecutors who should handle SGBV cases on evidence collection and storage, intelligence-gathering and reporting, evidence-analysis and chain of custody as they are critical to a successful prosecution and conviction.”