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House of Reps to fund fight against gender-based violence

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Thursday the House would provide funds for the fight against Gender-Based Violence in the 2021 budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the 2021 budget to the National Assembly in September.

Gbajabiamila, who disclosed this when the delegation of the United Nations and European Union Spotlight Initiative led by the Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria, Ulla Elisabeth Mueller, visited him in Abuja on Wednesday, said apart from budget funds, the House would also provide necessary support to relevant stakeholders for the fight against gender-based violence in the country.

He added that gender-based violence had become a source of concern to the government at all levels hence the need for all stakeholders to come together to nip it in the bud.

Gbajabiamila, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, assured the delegation that the House would work on the Sexual Harassment Bill forwarded to it by the Senate as soon as members return from their annual recess.

He said: “You talked about the Senate Bill, though we are going on a long vacation, I can assure you that as soon as we come back, the House will work on the bill.

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“On the issue of funding, like I said, it’s like a pandemic. There is no way you can confront a pandemic without funding. The budget is coming in September, and once it comes, we will make sure adequate funding is provided for this issue.

“On the issue of domestication of the VAPP 2015 and the Child’s Rights Act, my office has done a lot. We had a conference with the Speakers of the State Assemblies. The Chairman of the Conference of Speakers promised that they would domesticate it in Bauchi, and I’m glad to say that it has been done.

“We will continue to engage with others to see that they domesticate the laws. This is something we are championing, and we will continue to do that. For us in the House of Representatives, we are giving this issue all the seriousness it deserves.”

The Speaker commended members of the delegation for the work they have been doing, saying he hoped there would be a sustained partnership between them and the House to end gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Earlier in her remark, Mueller said everybody has the responsibility to say no to gender-based violence taking place in Nigeria and work toward ending the same.

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