From Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
The Association of Small- Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), Bauchi State Chapter has organised a one – day stakeholders engagement to develop an influencing strategy towards addressing poverty and inequality in the state.
The workshop which was held at Chartwell Hotel and Suites, Bauchi yesterday has as its theme: ” Influencing Strategy Document Validation”, funded by Global Affairs Canada is supported by OXFAM, and Livelihood and Nutrition Empowerment (LINE) and implemented by ASSAPIN, Bauchi State Chapter.
Addressing the participants,a consultant and partner to ASSAPIN,Mr. Abdulaziz Musa said that the vision of the engagement is”to see social, economic and political Inequalities are eliminated and people are living in dignity.
He stressed that, “We want to see a Bauchi State where men, women and youths are having access to equal opportunities and resources to live a life free of poverty”.
The consultant who lamented that the state has high rate multiple deprivation, indicating residents face challenges in accessing a wide variety of resources due to poverty, however noted that the expectation here is to see that the engagement will help promote policies that are responsive to the needs of the most marginalised are in place and implemented.
According to him, “At the end of the day,we expect to see an active citizenry that are interested and participating in the governance process in Bauchi state”, adding that,”we also expect that attitude norms and behaviours that discriminate against women are eliminated”.
“This is the second workshop in this process. We had the first workshop in December, basically,we brought together stakeholders that have anything to do with agricultural development, women empowerment,youth development and generally address Inequalities in Bauchi state”.
“We brought them together to train them on what influencing is,how to identify your stakeholders to engage with,how to do your power mapping and basically how to design effective strategies or activities that would be used to engage with these actors. And what we are doing here now is to validate that input, and ensure they are implementable”, he explained.
The consultant who expressed optimism for increase in quality and quantity of public and private investment in small holder farmers,as well as ensure that productivity and income are sustainably enhanced for small- scale farmers.
In a remark,the President of ASSAPIN, Bauchi State Chapter, Hajiya Amina Bala Jibrin said that the objective of the workshop is to ensure that the cultural and religious practices that discriminate against women are eliminated.
Hajiya Amina Bala Jibrin also added that ” we want to see that women are actively participating in decision making processes and are effectively represented in leadership positions”, saying that ” we expect increase in enterprises and productive assets owned by women”.
While stressing that the outcome of the engagement would include that women own and control productive assets and participate in economic activities,she added that they want public and private policies recognise, appreciate and protect women’s rights.