Senate to re-introduce Gender Equality Bill soon, says Saraki

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Senator Bukola Saraki
Senator Bukola Saraki

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, said that the 8th Senate would soon reintroduce the Gender Equality Bill that was thrown out by the senators at a plenary three weeks ago.

Saraki gave the assurance, in Abuja,  when the United Nations (UN) Country Representative, Fatimah Samora, led a delegation of members of the United Nation Development Programmes (UNDP) on a visit to him.

He said that the bill would be re-listed as soon as possible, when all contending issues of violence, participation in governance, education and entrepreneurship would have been addressed in the new bill.

While responding to the address by the UN Country Representative, on a need to revisit the controversial Gender Equality Bill, he said, “I can assure you that the bill will be reintroduced.”

‎According to the Senate President, “I want to reassure you that this Senate is going to pursue goals similar to that of the United Nations in Nigeria. You can see we have a sizeable number of the Senators present here, that reflects the readiness and commitment of this present Senate to collaborate with you. We are very keen to have the Bill come back to us as soon as possible and we are very hopeful that this time around it would be passed.

“The issues regarding education, participation in governance, entrepreneurship have been identified. I am sure that by the time the Bill is reconsidered it will sail through,” he said.

The Senate President further said, “I appreciate your comments, particularly on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In the 8th Senate, we are considering a Bill to set up the North-East Development Commission. Already, the Bill has passed the second reading and we are hopeful that before the end of this session, it would have been passed into law.

“The Bill is aimed at addressing issues of inadequate funding and support for the IDPs in terms of education, healthcare, resettlement and the overall reconstruction of the region.”

Samora appealed for financial support in the furnishing of the rehabilitated UN building in Abuja that was bombed by the Boko Haram insurgents in 2010.

Though, she did not mention any amount, she said that the amount was huge, adding that  the building would be reopened during the fifth anniversary of the bombing which ‎would take place in August.

The UN Country Representative also solicited increased counterpart funding of the HIV pandemic and more funds to enable communities displaced by the Boko Haram in ‎the north-east return to their respective homes.

She also appealed to the Senate President to ensure that the Federal Government addressed the perennial crises and clashes between host communities and herdsmen, especially the clashes between the Fulani and the Agatu communities in Benue State.

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