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Economy Government

The Impact of Tax on Enugu State Internally Generated Revenue

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, a compulsory contribution to state revenue is levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

Taxes generally contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country. Because of this contribution, taxes help spur economic growth which in turn has a ripple effect on the country’s economy; raising the standard of living, increasing job creation, etc.

The Government of Enugu State also uses taxes as a deterrent for undesirable activities such as the consumption of liquor, tobacco smoking, etc. To achieve this, governments impose high excise levies on these products and as a result, raise the cost of these products to discourage people from buying or selling them. 

In many countries, the three most important areas in tax collection play a major role includes:

Health

Without taxes, the enugu state government’s contributions to the health sector would be impossible. Taxes go to funding health services such as social healthcare, medical research, social security, and ensuring the upgrade of various health facilities across the country.

• Education

Education could be one of the most deserving recipients of tax money. The Enugu State government put a lot of importance on the development of human capital and education is central to this development. Money from taxes is channeled to funding, furnishing, and maintaining the public education system. Since money from these schools is barely substantial, some of these taxes are needed for the everyday running of the institutions.

• Governance

Governance is a crucial component in the smooth running of any affair. Poor governance would have far-reaching ramifications on the entire country with a heavy toll on its economic growth. Good governance, especially in the Coal City State, ensures that the money collected is utilized in a manner that benefits the citizens of the country. The gburugburu-led administration ensures that this money also goes to pay public servants, police officers, members of parliaments, the postal system, and others. Indeed, with a proper and functioning form of government, there will be no effective protection of public interest.

Efforts to improve revenue generation  

According to the chairman, of the Enugu State Board of internal revenue, revenue generated by taxes is limited by laws that define tax jurisdiction for each of the three tiers of government. The federal government spelled out the classes of taxes to be collected by each tier of government that is, federal, state, and local government. The state board of internal revenue is left with the option of perfecting the performance of the existing sources. However, the following measures are being embarked upon by both the state board of internal revenue and the state government. 

  1. Information processing centers have also been opened to process and issue new national driving license.
  2. The state government has opened up new motor licensing offices in each of the 17 (seventeen) local government areas of the state.
  3. The radio jingles of Enugu state radio broadcasting services each time they are about reading the news calling on people to be patriotic, pay their taxes, and join hands in building the state.

4. Tax offices have been opened up in each of the 17 local government areas of the state as well as sub-tax offices. This brings the tax officials close to the taxpayers for an increased revenues generation.

5. Government participation as the major collector of his revenue rather than using contractors has helped in attracting revenue to the government through which tax could be raised by stamp duty and withholding tax.

6. The status of Enugu as a state capital has always attracted a lot of businesses and the environmental friendliness of the state has also attracted multinational companies like Nigeria Breweries which built an ultra-modern brewery of close to 44 billion naira.

7up has also completed its plant and went into production in August 2003. The Guinness Brewery has fenced the large expense of land, an indication that they are getting ready to stake off if not completed by now.

Also in the polo park between IMT and popularly known Celebrity restaurant is a multi million Word Trade Center (Shoprite, and other bigger establishments in it).

  • Pool Betting and Gaining Casino are also contributing to the revenue generation of the state.
  • The popular okada (cyclist) has been scrapped following the introduction of the cool city taxi scheme and Keke Napep to minimize the rate of crimes committed through the use of okada and to generate greater revenue in the state.

9. The government of recent has been encouraging revenue generation by releasing the needed fund for the procurement of the working material.

And with time, revenue yield will increase as we put finishing touches on the system, the chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue Mr. F.O.C. Chime retorted.

 Reports of revenue yield

The Enugu State Government has recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in addition to all of these, the first quarter of 2021 had witnessed constant payment of staff salaries and allowances as well as regular payment of the overhead cost to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

“The period equally witnessed capital investments which are rationalized within the scope of fund availability.

“The government hopes that there will be a remarkable departure from the first quarter performances in the coming quarters of 2021,” the board stated.

Also, The Enugu State Government recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

Conclusion

Taxes help raise the standard of living in a country. The higher the standard, the more relevant tax returns are. According to the Vanguard, only 40 million out of the 200 million Nigerians living in the state pay taxes. And this is an anomaly. Consistent tax returns will help the Enugu State government runs its affairs which will ultimately cater to the needs of its tax-paying citizenry. This is because the state government would ensure amenities, quality service delivery, and supply of amenities for the members of the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Categories
Government Lifestyle Politics

Gburugburu at 58: The achievements of a Resource Manager

Nigeria has witnessed social and economic recessions over the past decade, and Enugu, one of its thirty-six states has consequently been affected. However, Enugu State hasn’t been any the worse for it, since she has been blessed with a governor who manages resources, turning crises into opportunities. The achievements of this resource manager will be listed in this article, celebrating his life which has been dedicated to service since his inauguration as governor of Enugu State.

The term, ‘manager of resources’ is not being used to refer to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the first time. As reported by Premium Times in March 2018, Okwesilieze Nwodo, the former, governor of old Enugu State has eulogized Gov. Ugwuanyi, and based on his leadership skills described him as a ‘fantastic manager’ of the state’s resources to change the course of his people’s living. This testimony has not only been given by the former governor of old Enugu State but it has been noted that Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of AMEN has given a similar testimony about the governor, saying that ‘Enugu has never had a kind-hearted leader like Ugwuanyi.’ Concerning this also, the National President of the Messengers of Peace Foundation, Dr. Sulaiman Adejoh conferred the award of the ‘Most Peaceful Governor in Nigeria’ on Governor Ugwuanyi for his efforts in ensuring that ‘there is calmness in Enugu State and Nigeria by extension.’ These testimonies and the conferment are well-deserving as well as well-earned when we look into the achievements of the governor.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman, philosopher, and lawyer who made notable contributions to Roman politics stated that the ‘safety of the people shall be the highest law.’ This postulation of his implies that the highest priority of a good leader lies in their ability to keep the people safe irrespective of the circumstances. Effective practice of democracy is observed in the decisions taken by the governor, whereby it is noted that the people are put first above every other factor. The problem of insecurity has plagued the country, Nigeria, and yet despite the economic recessions and instabilities over the years, a good part of the budget has been set aside to ensure peace and security. An instance is recalled in 2020 when there was a collision between Igbos and Hausas in Nsukka as a result of a misunderstanding. Judging by the history of violent disagreement between the two tribes, this misunderstanding would have led to a bloody clash had the governor not taken strategic steps to quickly compensate the casualties for their loss, rebuilding the vandalized Suya store at University Market Road, Nsukka as well as the mosque at Barracks.

 Another crisis notable mentioned that occurred in 2020 was COVID-19. This plague affected the world’s sociopolitical and economic affairs greatly, yet this governor found a way to manage the resources, ensuring that the workers were paid their salary throughout the period when a seat at home policies was being observed. He also took the necessary measures during this period, employing the services of the police to ensure that the virus didn’t spread like wildfire. 

In an article written by Irene Blinks which was published on Nigerian News on 7th June 2021, the governor listed some milestone achievements he had made within 6 years of his stay in office, and it is observed that these achievements spread across diverse areas of life, from the social to economic aspects. Some of these include: Up to date consistency in the payment of the new ₦30,000 minimum wage and payment on or before the 23rd of every month, implementation of 1,355 projects of various primary and secondary schools in Enugu, rehabilitation of facilities at Ajali and Opi River Water Supply Scheme, ongoing first state Flyover Bridge Project at T-junction, etc. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s ability to give attention to diverse areas could be attributed to his nickname, ‘Gburugburu’ which eulogizes him as an all-rounder.

Another proof of this nature of his is noted in his constant efforts to address the problems of both the urban and rural areas, ensuring that he bridges the gap between these two, as well as those of the upper and lower classes. Apart from the construction and rehabilitation of roads like Ikem-Neke-Mbu which has been linked to the Udenu local government, he has also gone ahead to begin a project of housing estates that would help salary-earning civil servants fulfill their dreams of being homeowners. Recently, news of the aesthetic stadium being constructed in Nsukka made the headline for weeks, and in addition to that, it was reported by the Vanguard that Enugu State Government has announced its plans to establish a second medical school in Nsukka, seeing the impossibility of extending Parklane to the town. This news has been well-received by all, for it would give medical students doing their internship programs the opportunity to have a place to practice, just as it would reduce the problem of poor medical services in Nsukka. If this project is pushed ahead, and the right technology and medical personnel are invested in it, it would go a long way to maintain good health in Nsukka just as it is in Enugu city.

Based on the above, it is obvious that the projects embarked on by the governor of Enugu State are put into thorough consideration first, and this says a lot about the brain behind this wise and innovative mindset. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is indeed making waves in his period of governance, managing resources adequately, and carrying out unique projects in broad, diverse areas. He is true, ‘Gburugburu,’ and has earned the right to be celebrated. 

Written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Government Politics

Governor Ugwuanyi’s Administration Launches a Cyber Security Initiative for Enugu Youths

His Excellency, Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – The Governor of Enugu State

Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration has continued to work tirelessly in empowering youths with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to become productive citizens of society.

This is part of Governor Ugwuanyi’s aspiration to create a blueprint for Enugu State. The governor said this mapping would involve all sectors of the society from the youths to the women and disabled persons. It is important to note that because of the broad implications and benefits of cyber security for national development, the state has taken this initiative seriously as it will provide employment opportunities for thousands of young people across geopolitical zones. 

How to Get Involved in the Ongoing Cyber Security Training

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration launched a seven-month Cyber Security learning program for the State’s youths through the Enugu Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Centre. The Special Adviser to the Governor on SMEs Development and Director General, Enugu SMEs Centre Mr Arinze Chilo-Offiah said the training was organized in collaboration with CyberSafe Foundation and Ping CyberTalent and that the Gov. Ugwuanyi is spearheading the ICT-driven project to assist combat cybercrime and young unemployment in the state.

It will be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration recently trained another 500 youths in programming and product design through the Enugu SMEs Centre. He has also begun training another 500 youths as part of its concerted efforts to create employment opportunities for about 5,000 youths in the state in various fields of innovative endeavor.

According to Hon. Chilo-Offiah, contrary to common belief, the youth might make more money as Cyber Security professionals, even though many believe that internet fraud, also known as “Yahoo Yahoo,” is the fastest and easiest method to get rich.

The Special Adviser further reiterated that “there are 3.5 million vacant Cyber security jobs globally,” and that participants in the Enugu SMEs program will become certified Cyber Security professionals at the end of the training, with the possibility of internship possibilities both within and beyond Nigeria.

To get involved with these training sessions, “Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30, interested in pursuing a career in technology, residing in Enugu, and prepared to commit to the full period of the program,” according to the Enugu SMEs head.

Qualified candidates should apply online at http://enugusme.en.gov.ng/ecsl .

Conclusion

Governor Ugwuanyi is a strong advocate for digital entrepreneurship and is committed to developing a workforce equipped with the skills needed to create a thriving economy. To this end, the governor has set up a cyber security training program to empower the youth of Enugu since more jobs are moving online, youths interested in this program must try to get hold of this opportunity and become fluent in cybersecurity. 

The governor hopes that the program will encourage more youths to take up cyber security as a career option and will enable them to compete on a global scale as it is currently being offered free of charge.

Written by Nwusulor Alexander

Categories
Government Politics

UGWANYI LED ADMINISTRATION: A SYSTEM OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND RAPID DEVELOPMENT

Enugu is blessed with a wonderful system of governance and this system has played a very significant role in the rapid advancement of the state. When it comes to the issues of social security, social facilities, structural facilities, medical facilities, employment opportunities, academic facilities, infrastructures, and, many other things, the government in Enugu makes sure that none of these sectors is left untouched, which were among Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration’s four-point agenda unveiled to Ndi Enugu during his first term swearing-in at Okpara Square, Independence Layout Enugu in 2015.

The PDP government right from the time of Chimaroke Nnamani, Sullivan Chime, and, presently Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has focused their tenures on different projects which benefited the people implying the true meaning of democracy. All sectors were created with the people in mind, from rural development to education, health, infrastructure, security, workers’ welfare, and youth empowerment, taking the lead are all being addressed and are receiving critical attention by the government.

This attention placed on ‘people’ in Enugu state is what makes democracy in its original sense true because democracy is all about the people and where the people reap the dividends of democracy; they will certainly believe they belong in the system and give the leader maximum support.

Due to the rotational system of government in Enugu, every sector is being touched significantly and that is what finally resulted in Enugu being called ‘the white man land’. The resources generated in Enugu are to an extent, evenly distributed that every indigene or visitor to the state has a taste of such a good government.

There is a need to commend the administration of Ugwuanyi and his giant strides should be emulated by other state governments. He has distributed developmental projects equally and has given contracts and job opportunities across the state in a spirit of equity, unity, and fairness to the admiration and happiness of all the people in the state.

The Ugwuanyi’s government has not only tried their best to maintain infrastructures they had met when they came into power but they have also gotten new ones, built some, and even completed abandoned ones by other governments across the state. One of the infrastructures he started in enugu that is marveling is the rural roads in Enugu. He constructed Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway, Obechara road junction-Umuakashi mechanic Village-Ikenga hotels Junction-Enugu road Nsukka junction, Umuezebi-Nru junction have been completed and many more. Ugwuanyi in his inauguration ceremony pronounced that ‘Enugu is in the hands of God’ and this statement or slogan has been following his leadership and his affairs with the state.

 The government in Enugu is geared towards the people and it is very result-oriented and when the people of Ibagwa-ani, in Nsukka local government area of Enugu state, led by the member representing Nsukka West State constituency, in the statehouse of assembly, Hon. Dr. Emma Ugwuerua, the former transition committee chairman of the council, hon. Onyema Idoko, among other leaders, came to the government house, Enugu, to appreciate His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, he reiterated how his administration is placing a priority on the needs of the people. The people are enjoying the result and to show their acknowledgment they came as a group and pledged their hundred percent support to Ugwuanyi. The people of Ibagwa-ani came, acknowledged, and thanked gov. Ugwuanyi for appointing their sons and daughters into various government positions, his concern of service and putting up of infrastructures, human empowerment, and human capacity building.

The Ibagwa-ani people commended Governor Ugwuanyi for his strength, his tenacity, and anticipatory handling of the covid-19 pandemic, which helped to abort the continuous spread of the disease, especially to the rural communities in the state. They were unequivocally happy with his government and solidly in support of his activities which they described as inspiring, all-inclusive, and result-oriented.

Written by: Vera Igwilo

Categories
Economy Government Politics

The Police Force of Enugu and the Impact of the New Police New Police Act 2020

The Nigerian Police force is the first line of defense and should be well structured, very informed to tackle the everyday issues that are present in every community of the country.

The Enugu State Police Command plays a very vital role in ensuring the peace and security of members of its commune. And apart from stomping out insecurity, the Enugu Police Command has made it a mandate to curtail drug abuse and enforce order in the state.
Earlier in the year, the Commissioner of Police for the state, Mr. Mohammed Aliyu, said that the Command recovered a total of 10 firearms of assorted rifles.

The commissioner, according to The Guardian, said that the suspects, 37 in number, were arrested for offenses ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, unlawful possession of firearms, child trafficking, car and phone theft, burglary among others.
Aliyu said that the achievement was recorded with the joint effort of officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Federal Road Safety Corps, and the Neighbourhood Watch Groups in the state.
However, the police force is still met with mishaps in the line of duty.
In June of this year, the governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwauanyi paid a condolence visit to the widows of policemen shot in the line of duty by unknown gunmen.
The Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, had earlier in a statement issued in the wake of the dastardly act, disclosed that preliminary investigations on the matter had commenced.

Despite the efforts of the state command and various other security parastatals in the country, there is always room to fan into a fire the flame of improvement.

THE 2020 POLICE ACT
On September 17, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigeria Police Bill 2020 into law. This Act repeals the Police Act Cap. P19, Laws of the Federation, 2004 and enacts the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 to provide for a more effective and well-organized Police force driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in operations and management of resources.
The Act also establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police force in line with what is obtainable in other federal government key institutions in the bid to ensure that all police formations nationwide are appropriately funded for effective policing.
Below are the high points of the new amendments that every Nigerian should be aware of:

Section 66(1) of the Police Act 2020, ONLY a Police Officer who is a LEGAL PRACTITIONER, can prosecute.
Police Officer who is NOT LEGAL PRACTITIONER cannot prosecute, unlike the Old Act that gave non-Police lawyers prosecutorial power.

2) Nigerians can now have private detectives who are not employed by the government. The Nigeria Police Force is responsible for vetting and approving the registration of Private Detective Schools and Private Investigative Outfits. See Section 4(i).

3) The Police is mandated to report the findings of its investigation to the Attorney General of the Federation or State as the case may be. Section 32(1).

4) The Act prohibits the Police from arresting anyone based on a civil wrong or breach of contract. Section 32(2).

5) The Act equally prohibits the arrest of any person in place of a suspect. Section 36.

6) The Act makes it mandatory on the police officer or any other person authorized to effect an arrest to inform the suspect of his rights to:
i. Remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice. Section 35(2)(a).
ii. Consult a legal practitioner of his own choice before making, endorsing, or writing any statement or answering any question put to him after the arrest. Section 35(2)(b)
iii. Free legal representation by the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria or other organizations where applicable. Section 35(2)(c).

7) The Act also makes it mandatory for the Police to notify the next of kin or relative(s) of the suspect immediately after the arrest of the suspect. Section 35(3).

8.) A suspect shall be accorded humane treatment. And a suspect shall not be subjected to torture, cruelty, inhumane or degrading treatment. Section 37.

9) The statement of a suspect can be taken only when he wishes to make a statement. Section 60(1).

10) The statement, where the suspect wishes to make one, MAY be taken in the presence of a legal practitioner or any other person or organization of his own choice. Section 60(2).

11) Where a suspect is arrested and detained for more than 24 hours if the offense he was arrested for is not a capital offense, his lawyer or relatives can notify any court that has jurisdiction to try the matter about his arrest. Section 64(1).

12) The notification can be made in writing or orally. Section 64(3).
“The court SHALL order the production of the suspect and inquire into the matter. Where it is convinced that the suspect should be released on bail, the court shall admit him to bail.”

13) The Police are mandated to take the photographs and fingerprint impressions of all suspects who are in lawful custody. Section 68(1).

14) Where a suspect refuses to allow the Police to take his measurements, photograph, and fingerprint impressions, the Police have the right to apply to court compel the suspect to submit himself. Section 68(2).

15) On the last working day of every month, an officer in charge of a police station must report to the nearest magistrates the cases of all arrests made without a warrant in his jurisdiction, whether the suspect has been admitted to bail or not. Section 69(1)
Now, these amendments are timely and apt.

The problem is how do we ensure that it is enforced and applied. Civil society groups, Human Rights Activists, Lawyers, Comrades & good citizens; must fight for these rights.

Categories
Government Lifestyle

The Efforts of Enugu State Government on Drug Management

Introduction:

Drug abuse is a serious issue and is fast becoming a menace in many countries who are very concerned especially because of the statistics of young people who are not only exposed to these but use them regularly. Identification of the major causes of this abuse would seem to be a viable solution in handling the matter. Currently, some of the most abused drugs in the country include amphetamine, codeine, tramadol, cough syrup, cocaine, and heroin. And after tons of research, the reasons for the abuse of these drugs included- stress; social, economic, and family pressures, a desire to feel good and to derive pleasure. Among sources of these drugs were fellow drug users, drug peddlers, chemists and pharmacies, and the open market. The most recent statistics given by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) projected that 271 million (5.5%) of the global population aged between 15 to 64 years, had used the drug the previous year. In Nigeria, according to the 2018 UNODC report “Drug Use in Nigeria”- one of the first large-scale, nationwide surveys in the country, reported that one in seven persons aged 15-64 years had used a drug in the past year. This raises a serious concern for the safety of our children and the future of the public at large. A troubling chunk of these numbers revolves around students in secondary school who try these drugs out of curiosity to undergraduates in the tertiary institutions who use these because of peer pressure, to derive pleasure, to stay awake, to fend off restlessness, and to relax. The drug policies and agencies currently in force in Nigeria include the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the National Agency for Food and Drugs and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 

NDLEA and the efforts of the government: 

In 2016, the second year of the new administration, the Enugu State Government pledged to partner with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as one of its efforts to rid the state of illicit drugs. That same year Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuani, at a book presentation by the NDLEA Commander, Mr. Anthony Ohanyere titled, ‘Terrorism and Illicit Drugs in Nigeria-My Perspective” acknowledged that many youths engage in crime due to dependence on illicit drugs and lauded the commander and his team for their efforts in keeping the state safe.

Some residents argue that the major incidences of mental unsound are shown by the number of mad people on the streets as a product of prolonged drug use. There have also been genuine concerns shown by international bodies.

Recall that in the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to the second Ministerial Anti-Drug Conference on the Influence of Drugs on Global Security and Sustainable Development, in Moscow, in 2015, the Director said that “Drug trafficking exploits fragile nations and regions.” He added that he was particularly concerned about methamphetamine production, cocaine consumption and trafficking, and heroin use in West Africa. 

And that in both West Africa and the Sahel, criminal groups involved in drug trafficking and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea have joined with terrorists attracted by vast criminal profits. 

Similarly, earlier this year Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) charged Commanders of the Agency to brace up or move out, as charging at the drugs war under his leadership will be like a moving train which will crush anyone who stands on its front.

He said: “We need not be told of the nexus between drug use, crime and criminalities as the exponential growth of the nefarious drug activities can be directly linked to the upsurge in crimes such as insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, political thuggery, gangsterism, rape and other maladaptation bedeviling today’s Nigeria”, ringing a familiar tune with the address of the director of the UN of in 2015.

Drugs and Terrorism are intertwined and leave a dastardly mess in its wake on the citizens of any city.

In addition to these the Chairman also hinted at plans to get the government’s approval to carry drug tests on tertiary institutions’ new students, security agencies’ fresh recruits, and all newly appointed government employees in the country which would help to keep drugs off Nigerian streets and homes.

Efforts of the NDLEA

The global prevalence of drug use is 5.6% but in Nigeria, it is 14.4% (14.3 million people). And this is a serious issue with one of the most prevalent causes of abused substances involving codeine and cough syrup with reports showing that on average, 2.5% of women use cough syrup containing codeine, more than men (2.3%) are involved.

And in Nigeria, drug enforcement agencies, like the NDLEA is very active in their efforts to eradicate drug incidences.

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, on Thursday, 18th February 2021 paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) with an assurance that the French government will partner with the agency in its renewed resolve to tackle drugs menace in Nigeria. During the visit, he was informed of sturdy and swift strides recorded in the fight against drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, within the short time that Marwa had been in charge of the anti-drug outfit and the seriousness with which he handled the issues.

In Enugu, the NDLEA has certainly thrived following the governor’s intention to collaborate with the agency.

Shortly after the executive governor promised to stop the excessive use of drugs in the state in 2016, the agency motivated by the governor, according to Mr. Ohanyere led to the discovery of “a clandestine laboratory in Udi local government area”, where “20kg of Amphetamine was recovered”, which he described as “the most dangerous and expensive illicit drug in the world.”

In May, Enugu state Command of the Agency, equally at the weekend raided the Nsukka axis of the state capital where a 28-year-old lady, Ordo Ndidiamaka was arrested with 80.23grammes of cocaine and 3.81grammes of methamphetamine. This is similar to the NDLEA command action in Plateau where freshly baked cakes or brownies made with cannabis Sativa were recovered in addition to 48.726kilogrammes of assorted psychotropic substances according to Vanguard Nigeria, which apart from these pastries, recovered from the three eateries, psychotropic substances also seized from there included: Barcadin Codeine 14kg; Flunitrazapem 355.5grammes; Tramadol 370.1 grams; Exol-5, 30kg; Diazepam 2.5kg and Pentazocine 1.5 kg, totaling 48.726kg.

A month before, In April, according to the Vanguard Nigeria, operatives of the Niger State Command of the Agency arrested a 24-year-old 400-level student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Abel Godwin Idio for selling two strong variants of cannabis, Arizona and loud, concealed in textbooks. 

The Country’s commander, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) in his reaction, commended the Plateau, Enugu, and Niger Commands of the Agency for disrupting the activities of drug cartels in their respective states. And lauded their efforts at quenching the drug menace.

The drug menace like a prong that has eaten deep into Nigeria’s social scene would have to be uprooted and extinguished.

There’s still a lot to be done and inclusion in the academic curriculum of every academic level in the country will be s nice way to start as well as regular sensitization of the effects of the drug menace in the country.

The Federal Government should make a more conclusive effort to enforce drug education in the state and sensitize people about the consequences some of which are just enticed by the feel-good effect of some of these drugs.

CONCLUSION

Reports recently ranked Nigeria as 5th in the world with the highest suicide rate of an average of six suicides per month. Substance use has been attributed as a major factor that leads people to commit suicide.

Also, the increase in cases of sudden deaths among youths in the country is reportedly connected to opioid overdose, which is the most common drug injected by youths.

This is similar to the effects worldwide where many international agencies try to handle the debilitating effects of drug use.

The influence of social media and the false glorification of drug use by entertainers has led a lot of young people down the nary road of drug and substance addiction.

The need for quailing the boom of abuse which in partnership with the NDLEA and the different states in the country will bring the drug issue to a conclusive halt.

Sedo Elijah Ebinne writes from Enugu
Categories
Government Politics

Need to Respect Power Rotation in Enugu State

Power rotation, which ordinarily means the ability for the power in government to be in stable and fair rotation either clockwise or anticlockwise in a state either zonally or according to locality. This healthy system of power distribution is that which is solidly rooted in the government of Enugu state and also instrumental in maintaining political balancing in the State since the return of democracy. It has not only given room for the smooth running of government for many decades but also made Enugu state to be perceived as one with transparency when it comes to the running of affairs of the people. It is the kind of power system that gives room for people to be accommodated, and also for those who are not accommodated at that time to have hope of the opportunity to get to them along the way. This ‘hope’ is that substance that brings peace in the heart of citizens to keep them at peace with the government, with the knowledge that the power in government would get to their zones too. 

This power rotation is an issue the Nigerian government as a whole still finds hard to practice and this naturally causes the issue of insecurities from other zonal and tribal bodies. Although Nigeria and Enugu have a common trait that brings them close, which is, that they have different breeds of people which make up their colony. For Nigeria, they deal with different people with different languages, cultures, and religions but Enugu is said to have different kinds of Igbo people which boils down to them having different cultures and believes, however, the Enugu government can handle this with their idea of power rotation. The power is distributed and this gives the people this idea that the power is around their locality or would reach them in a way. 

As at the time Enugu was first separated from the old Anambra State in 1991 to be called its state, it had three Senatorial zones which include, Enugu-east, Enugu-west, and Enugu-north. In dissecting Enugu State as a whole, it is made of seventeen local government areas. These areas are divided into three senatorial and political zones which are; Enugu North, Enugu West, and Enugu East. (Nsukka for Enugu North, Udi for Enugu West, and Nkanu for Enugu East). These senatorial zones are not only just mere political zones, sometimes they are considered cultural zones, even though the cultural zones overflow from one political zone to another. 

The distribution of power in Enugu State began with the administration of Dr. Chimaroke Ogbonnaya Nnamani of Enugu-east (Nkanu’s section) Senatorial District whose tenure in office ran from 1999 to 2007. The next tenure was that of Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime of Enugu-west (Udi’s section) Senatorial District whose term in office was from 2007 to 2015. The present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu-north (Nsukka’s section) Senatorial District, whose tenure started in 2015 and is expected to end in 2023. Persons among the indigenous people of the three senatorial districts would have been said to have had their fair share of representation at the office since 1999. And not only were persons appointed but zones were the ones allowed to be in power and by this, the people have the feeling that their ‘own’ is in power.

Now, some may argue that the real deal of power rotation has been breached as for the past three consecutive tenures we have had to see the power in the hands of one political party which is the People Democratic Party (PDP), but this cannot stand as an argument as who represent the people are not the political party but the zonal or cultural leaders that’s why it was mentioned earlier that those senatorial zones are not only just mere political zones but they are considered cultural zones. In the Igbo land, it is a known fact that people are more interested in the ‘home branch’ one may be said to belong to besides the political party they support. 

It was also perceived that the loss of power at the National level was a result of the disruption of the rotational system, whereas in Enugu State the party has been consistent with the scheme and as such retained power in the state. This system hence has proven to be useful both to the party (PDP) and the entire Enugu State to ensure an enabling environment to achieve the needed developmental goals of the state. It is also a visible fact that this system doesn’t start and end at the National and state levels. This system though informal is effective in the candidacy of the office of the governor of Enugu State by the PDP, observations also prove that the efficiency of this system made other political parties in the state adopt it.

Vera Igwilo Writes from Enugu

Categories
Culture Economy Government Politics

The Legal Justification of Anti-Grazing Law of Enugu State, Part. 2

In reference to the anti-grazing issue, Section 2 of the Law refers to “moving permit”, which is defined as: “a movement permit issued in the State under the Control Trade Cattle Regulations or a permit relating to the movement of trade cattle issued by any authority having the power to issue the same under any law in force in any other part of Nigeria.”

The expression “any law in force in any other part of Nigeria” in this context, of course, includes the Land Use Act, as previously mentioned in Part 1.

And together, comparatively, these two laws set the stage for restriction of cattle rearing and other land violation matters in the state, except and with express permission by the governor of the state. 

Understand that there Are Laws in Support of Anti-Grazing in Nigeria

Consequently, without any new law banning open grazing, southern governors can assert their authority under these extant laws, including particularly under Section 1 of the Land Use Act, which provides that: 

“Subject to the provisions of this Act, all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation are hereby vested in the Governor of that State… ”

The Land Use Act as the principle law of Nigeria dealing with matters relating to land has vested land in the federation under the control of the individual state governors. And for emphasis, this includes commercial and economic activities in the use of the land.  

The Enugu State governor, therefore, has the power to order herdsmen or any other persons carrying on any other business on lands within the territory of the state to apply for a permit or license to do so under the above clear provisions of the Land Use Act. 

And this cannot, in any way, be interpreted as a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of movement.

This is worthy of mention because recently, some opposition has been meted out to the stand of the southern governors’ on grazing in the country.

Asides from the argument that it is the constitutional requirement of Nigerians to have freedom of movement, an assertion which concerning the anti-grazing matter lacks any substance, the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami(SAN) called the movement of the herdsman ‘customary’ being that this has been their practice for as long as one can remember. 

However, this cannot serve as a justification for the unchecked grazing of the Fulani owned cattle which in addition to being a nuisance and causing loss of property to indigent farmers living in the south and other parts of Nigeria, has become a security issue and object of terror resulting in loss of lives of the farmers on refusal to allow these herdsmen access to their property. 

Customs like these which are not only undocumented as a right or contained in any legal promulgation including the 1999 Constitution, the highest legal document in the federation cannot be allowed to subsist.

The defense of the continued grazing of cattle in unspecified areas of land has brought with it death and destruction and should not be allowed to continue unmitigated.

In light of these developments, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has sought more time to enlighten its members to stop the practice of open grazing of cattle in Lagos State.

This followed the one-day hearing which was held on Wednesday 8th September, for the anti-grazing bill which is scheduled to be passed by the Lagos State government subsequently. The proposed title of the bill is “A Bill for a Law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes” which is intended to stop open grazing in the former capital city of Nigeria.

The breeders association pleaded for more time for the bill’s passing to educate the herders on some new ways to handle their business. The spokesperson, the association’s Zonal Secretary for South-West, Maikudi Usman pleaded for additional time to educate the herders on breeding in one place rather than encroaching on other people’s farmland.

He added that the Lagos State government would however allow the prices of the cattle to be raised to two million naira insisting that the cost of rearing in a single location was more costly.

Regarding this plea, the question however is, “how much would need to be given to stop a practice which has caused untold hardship to indigenous in the country?

Finally, most people are not aware that anti-grazing has already been in the Federation for more than 60 years. This judgment, which was not challenged, was given by Justice Adewale Thompson on 17 April 1969 with Suit no AB/26/66. 

The decision read thus:

“I do not accept the contention of Defendants that custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of the farm to fence his farm while the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and a good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.”

“Sequence to that I banned open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.” -HON.JUSTICE ADEWALE THOMPSON: 17TH APRIL 1969. SUIT NO AB/26/66 AT ABEOKUTA DIVISION OF THE HIGH COURT.

These various laws can serve as a guide to states and be used as precedent when needed in matters relating to anti-grazing laws. The anti-grazing law of Enugu state commissioned by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is among the very few in the southeast and the Republic addressing the anti-grazing issue and should be lauded. And hopefully, it would be instrumental to end the anti-grazing menace that has disrupted the peace, security and economic enjoyment of Nigerians in the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Check out Part 1 here — https://discoverenugu042.wordpress.com/2021/09/21/the-legal-justification-of-anti-grazing-of-enugu-state-part-1/

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Nigeria at 61: How Rotation of Power is ensuring Enugu’s consistent developmental strides 

Enugu State government recently celebrated thirty years of existence since August 1991. The state has one of the best awesome histories or stories among all the states in Nigeria and the journey of Nigeria 61st Independence brings nostalgic memories of what the people of the state encountered to secure the establishment of the Enugu and celebration of people like C. C. Onoh championing the Wawa movement and the creation of a Wawa state as it was referred to in the past. Enugu has been able to survive and has witnessed successive governments who have championed tremendous economic growth. 

One of the ways by which the state has been able to sustain its tremendous growth and development is by ensuring that there is peace in the state as Peace experts believe is the foremost requirement for any state to witness consistent growth and development. “There cannot be a growth of any form in an environment devoid of peace or an environment suffering from tragic bouts of violence. ” To ensure peace and equity in the state, the founding fathers deliberated and decided to keep to the rotation of power among its component units or zones as it was obtained in the old Anambra State. This, of course, was not only to ensure equity; it was also to ensure that there is consistent peace and development in the state. While in some other states, some sections would feel marginalized. This is not the same with Enugu State. 

Political Stakeholders and leaders of thought through this process ensures the state is kept away from the violence or rancour associated with power thuggery and election of violence. The state might worry about other issues but certainly not the rotation of power among its component units. This has been obeyed since the creation of the state to date. Since the inception of a stable democracy in 1999, there has been a steady change of power from one zone of the state to another. Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu East was the first governor of the state at the beginning of Nigeria’s fourth republic and he handed over to Sullivan Chime of Enugu West zone and Sullivan handed it over to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu North zone. Thus, at this point, there has been an unbroken exchange of power 

Each State Government knows that to keep power rotating among the component units and zones in the state means uninterrupted governance and it also means an easy flow of business, less youth restiveness and less political tension means more development and economic stability for everyone. This makes any elected government support the zoning formula or procedure even when there are varying opinions about the zoning. For instance, H. E. Chimaroke Nnamani didn’t let these distractions deter him when he made his government work for the handover of power to Sullivan Chime. The government at that point worked with the political structure of PDP to see that Mr Chime is elected on the platform. Thus, the people continue to live in harmony and there is some sort of fusion or intermingling between politics and governance. Hence, there is little differentiation between the political and governing structure as they are closely linked. This makes it easy for any government in power to use the political structure and achieve the aim of power rotation.

H. E. Sullivan Chime of Enugu West zone was elected in 2007 and he started work immediately. He didn’t let politicking and the party structure distract him that much as provided dividends of democracy to the people, especially the people in the capital city. During his time, the Enugu North zone looked up to receiving the leadership mantle from his government. The zone had good facts as to why they felt their zone was neglected. Most of the previous administrations focused their works and administration on Enugu city or around the city, neglecting Nsukka city and the zone. It was in Sullivan’s regime that there was heightened agitation for the creation of Adada State. However, Sullivan’s government did not give up on the rotational politics instituted by the founding fathers of the state as the government utilized the PDP political structure in handing over power to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu North Zone. At the point when Ifeanyi was elected in 2015, Enugu North suffered neglect in infrastructure and there was little or no presence of state infrastructure in the zone. Most people of the zone heave a sigh of relief as a citizen of the zone was elected. It meant that the zone would no longer be neglected as it were.

One of the reasons why the Enugu State Government since 1999 has insisted on rotational politics as a system of government is to get development to every zone. Nigerian politics as what is obtained in it is that politicians tend to work more for their constituencies as this plays out in Enugu State as well. Any governor elected tends to work more in his constituency or where he is more familiar with. This makes development and growth spread out in the state and The state develops uniformly this way and no side is ignored.

In this present time, there have been repeated calls by some of the state’s politicians for the cancellation of the unwritten rotational politics and formula of the state. These politicians argue that the right subject or idea should be competency over equitable sharing of power. To them, the state is in dire need of competent hands to take it to an enviable height. Of course, this does not mean that the leaders they have had are not competent or something. The state is performing above average in most indices due to many reasons including the kind of leaders it has had since 1999. 

As H. E. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi government rounds off and looks towards the 2023 general elections, permutations are ongoing on what would play out. Citizens of the state watch wearily as some politicians kick against the zoning or rotational politics formula while some other politicians continue to be in support. There are varying plans and expectations concerning zoning. The first group insists that zoning must be upheld and as that Enugu East zone goes after Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. The second group kicks against zoning and believes everyone should contest on competency ground. The third group believes that if zoning is kicked away it can start from anywhere or anyone from any zone can contest, thus, Enugu North with over 45% population of the state is eligible and can contest.

The Government of Enugu State knows the importance of rotational politics and zoning in the state and knows very well that it cannot be ignored. The kind of politics obtained in the state has made the state extra-peaceful and development-oriented. Furthermore, development is evenly spread and no side is neglected. In the present Enugu, there is development going on everywhere and the government has a good role to play in this. The government knows this fact and would not want to jeopardize the giant strides the state has made this far. 

— Chinweokwu Ukwueze writes from Enugu State.

Categories
Government Politics

The VAPP Act: Function and Efficacy in Enugu State.

The offence of physical and sexual assault in Nigeria is a prevalent socio-cultural phenomenon that has affected the reasonable progress and development of society. In a patriarchal system prevalent in the nation, the notion of male dominance is not alien to our system; hence the concept of male chauvinism has been upheld for years.

Consequently, this has the effect of desensitizing society towards some ills. The offences of sexual or physical violence encompass what is known today as Gender-based violence which includes rape, sexual harassment and domestic abuse. According to UNICEF report of 2015 one in four girls and one in ten boys in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. The same report in 2020 shows that over 90% of the rape cases reported in the media were females, with 99% of the rapist, males. In these cases, a third of the female victims were aged between 1 and 10; those between 11 and 20 years constituted 46.1% of the victims while victims aged 21-30 made up 8.4%.

On a larger scale, World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2021 stated that an estimated 736 million women have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30 per cent of which are aged 15 and older). 

Most violence against women is perpetrated by current or former husbands or intimate partners. And more than 640 million women aged 15 and older have been subjected to intimate partner violence (26 per cent of women aged 15 and older).

Of those who have been in a relationship, almost one in four adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 (24 per cent) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner or husband. Added to that number, sixteen per cent of young women aged 15 to 24 experienced this violence in the past 12 months.

In 2018, an estimated one in seven women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner or husband in the past 12 months (13 per cent of women aged 15 to 49) making the toll very disturbing and a scene we cannot sideline any longer.

THE ENACTMENT

In 2015, the Nigerian National Assembly passed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) Bill.

The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill was enacted because of its necessity and will introduce several improvements in the fight against rape in the country. The enactment has strengthened the laws prohibiting sexual harassment and provided a mechanism through which sexual assault victims can be compensated, a feature that was alien under the former applicable laws.

The act has increased the scope of rape to now encompass both genders, male and female. Under the former laws, only women could be victims of rape. However, currently, the Act in its opening section defined the offence of rape to include “unlawful penetration of a man or women.” 

This innovative provision recognizes that all genders are susceptible to sexual assault and has made provisions for the protection of all.

Secondly, the act has also made provisions for the compensation of rape victims. Under the Act, rape victims are entitled to financial compensation as a way of rebuilding their lives and obtaining the necessary help needed in doing so.

The act has also introduced the Sex Offenders List which is documentation of all reported or convicted cases of sexual violation or abuse perpetrators. This system allows the relevant government authorities to track the activities and residence of such offenders.

Furthermore, it has now been made an offence for a person to administer a substance, such as date drugs, to another without consent, to overpower such person to engage in sexual activity with that person.

ENUGU STATE AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION

The Enugu state government has taken a leaf from the National Assembly’s page and in a bid to strengthen its campaign against sexual harassment recognized the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in 2019, an adaptation of the federal enactment, and made it binding on the state.

The passage of the bill into law is the first step in recognizing the efforts of the various human rights groups in the state which have fought tirelessly to protect and preserve the dignity of women and victims of sexual assault in the state such as the Women Aid Collective (WACOL).

 It has also gone further to amplify the voices of these organizations and has provided an equitable legal framework under which offenders can be convicted for horrendous offences related to sexual assault.

Consequently, it was based on this law that Justice Chinyere Ani of the Enugu State High Court demanded in 2020, the establishment of a juvenile remand and bolster homes for perpetrators to effectively implement the Law’s insistence on justice and punishment of offenders.

It is important to state at this point that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law not only applies to cases of sexual abuse but also applies to physical violence- domestic or otherwise, against persons. As evidenced in its preamble, it aims to “eliminate violence in private and public life, and prohibit all forms of violence against persons.”

In Enugu and indeed Nigeria at large, the debilitating menace called domestic and gender-based violence remains a huge problem. While gender-based violence, as the name suggests, is violence targeted to another based on gender (usually targeted towards women), domestic violence is often a confrontation between family or household members that usually involves physical harm, sexual assault or apprehension of physical harm. 

It is reported that in over 95% of the reported cases of domestic violence in Nigeria, men are the assailants, perhaps due to the age-long patriarchal view that men are stronger than women, leading to an invariable assumption that the only way to assert dominance, is by physical domination. Inadvertently, some cultural practices and norms in the nation encourage violent acts against women. 

Because of this, relevant state actors have come out to speak against this disturbing trend, and the Enugu State Government has taken administrative and legislative steps to curb these acts. 

In April of this year, the State’s First Lady Her Excellency, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi lent her voice to the campaign against domestic violence in the state, calling for an “all-inclusive and sustained crusade to stem domestic violence and sexual abuse against women in the society.”

Also, the Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in May of this year inaugurated a committee on the prevention of gender-based violence in the state. According to the Terms of Reference of their formation “It is the responsibility of the committee to develop and implement programmes and policies geared towards the prevention of gender-based violence in the state”.

Cases of Violence

In place of the foregoing, it is not far from the imaginative mind the true impact and development the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law has in the fight against violence in the state.

 For instance, Section 2(1) of the law states that “a person who willingly causes or inflicts physical injury on another person using any weapon, substance or object commits an offence.” The Law went further to state the prescribed punishment for the offence.

An instance of a reprimandable act of domestic violence is the gruesome act of Mr and Mrs Ozougwu in the grievous injuring and maltreatment of their guardian Nneoma Nnamdi, earlier this year. The incident which happened in July 2020, saw the infliction of various degrees of injuries on the little child, aged 10, that eventually led to her being hospitalized. 

The Enugu state government, in its fight against domestic violence, seriously condemned the act and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. The hospital bill of the victim was paid by the State government who promised to ensure that every child in Enugu State is protected, has access to education, reasonable healthcare where their right to life is guaranteed. 

Hence the adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law in Enugu state has strengthened the law regarding the protection of children and has guaranteed the upholding of the sanctity of human life. 

The law in this regard is expected to consolidate the Child Rights Act which is another important legislation in the country safeguarding the rights and privileges enjoyed by children in the country. The combined effects of these laws are the resultant prioritization of the rights and interests of children in the State.

IMPORTANCE OF THE ENACTMENT

The Enactment of the Violence Against Persons Act and the subsequent adoption by the Enugu state government is a welcomed contribution to the progress and development of our legal system.

The adoption of the law and the conspicuous effort of the Enugu state government towards the enforcement of the law together with the commitment towards the protection of all gender have the combined effort of securing and strengthening the principle of the rule of law. 

Hence, these acts bring us one step close towards safeguarding the protection of the female gender and the realization of equality among all sexes, and several steps closer to holding perpetrators of these violent acts, in the state and beyond to justice.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne