SGBV: EU-UN SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE HANDS OVER INTERVENTION PROGRAMME TO LASG


The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative has formally handed its five-year intervention programme on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), especially against women, girls and youths, to Gender-oriented Ministries and Agencies of the Lagos State Government.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony held on Friday  at  the Airport Hotel, Ikeja,  the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. (Mrs.) Cecelia Bolaji Dada disclosed that the project has identified SGBV as an abuse and degrading treatment against humanity that must be addressed.
She reiterated that the project has created awareness for women in particular, as the majority of them can now speak out against any form of abuse meted against them or a violation of their human rights.
While noting that the project was a step towards greater things to come in Lagos State, Dada said,  “We are delighted to be here on a historic day that finalises the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative handover ceremony, as an intervention programme being directed at giving voices to the indigent, vulnerable and downtrodden citizenry across the Lagos metropolis,  with deliberate move in curbing all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. 
The Commissioner equally commended the Governor of Lagos State Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who approved the EU-UN Spotlight intervention project as well as various partners that supported the advocacy campaigns in Lagos State, saying, “As a Ministry, we have conceived various livelihood empowerment and support programmes for over 300 Gender-Based Violence Survivors through UNDP fund being coordinated by Foundation for Resilient  Empowerment Programme (FRED)”.
She charged stakeholders to continuously embark on publicity on the project to reach out to more vulnerable Lagosians, just as she commended the efforts of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative for its various advocacy and sensitization programmes with stakeholders to curb the menace of SGBV, as well as enlighten media correspondents against stigmatisation reportage.
Dada stated that WAPA, in collaboration with LASEMA, has designed several training and capacity building sessions which berthed the call toll number – 767, as the first point of call for help, just as various government officials, law enforcement agencies, healthcare workers, and social workers were incorporated to help as a follow-up to calls received from 767. These selected officials have also been trained in identifying, responding to, and preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence across their various communities as well as in all 57 Local government and Local Council Development Areas.  
Speaking earlier, the representative of the First Lady of Lagos State and SSA to the Governor on Domestic Affairs, Mrs. Motolani Ladipo stated that the collaboration between the State Government and EU-UN Spotlight Initiative was a welcome development that gave women hope and a sustainable chance of survival using the available support services provided. 
She reaffirmed the State Government’s support for the project and looked forward to the positive effects of the campaign on the citizenry of Lagos State. 

The representative of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Abiola Soladayo encouraged survivors of Sexual and Gender- Violence to endeavour to speak out for concise investigations devoid of mediocrity so that offenders can be punished accordingly. 

The representative of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria and National Coordinator of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, Ms. Anu  John commended the efforts of the Lagos State Government to support the course of curbing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against women, girls and youths in the State 
The event was well attended by dignitaries from UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UN WOMEN, Ministries, Departments and  Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, as well as students from various Secondary Schools in Lagos State.