SPEECH PRESENTED BY BARR. NKIRU JOY OKPALA, THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR, NIGERIAN NETWORK OF WOMEN EXPORTERS OF SERVICES, (NNWES), DURING A COURTESY VISIT TO THE CHAIRMAN, POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION, AT THE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT, ABUJA, ON TUESDAY, 8TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2015, AT 2.00PM
We are happy to be here in your midst this afternoon. We heartily congratulate you on your good efforts towards improving the Police Personnel in Nigeria, and ensuring that they deliver to the needs of our people. We are grateful to God that an icon who understands the plight of the Nigeria Police, as well as the demands of the nation’s citizenry is heading the affairs of this Commission. We are optimistic that more enduring results will be achieved through your designs.
Our Network which is the Nigerian Network of Women Exporters of Services (NNWES) is an alliance of Business and Professional Women in the Service Industries who are poised at ensuring proficiency in service delivery and export, for national growth and sustainable development. We are also particular about the establishment of conducive business environment for the Nigerian business women and entrepreneurs, and building their capacities for proper engagement in economic activities. We further strive to develop women’s confidence for international competitiveness and best practices. NNWES constantly supports government, agencies and corporations who seek a trusted partner with solid track records in providing assured service excellence. NNWES is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN ECOSOC) and is also a member of the Women’s Major Group, as well as the Business & Industry Major Groups of the UN and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Services constitute the most dynamic area of national growth and sustenance. Yet, it is pertinent to note that despite several opportunities and transaction openings including large market availability, services professionals, agencies and corporations in Nigeria are not making the best use of the chances like their counterparts in other parts of the world. It is necessary also, to emphasize that the primary objective of economic policy is to promote growth and development in order to create jobs, sustain such employment, alleviate poverty and reduce inequality. The strategic objectives of good policies require that the leadership is able to carry out a wide range of structural reforms of the Establishment in its economic and social dimensions. Nigeria is at a time when the nation faces the challenges of transforming the public service to improve the reach, depth, efficiency and quality of service delivery, whilst at the same time improving the conditions of service, quality and sustainability of jobs for employees. The Ombudsman aims to bring benefits to the wider public through influencing improvements in the vital areas of concern, and informing policy makers aright. It is a key objective of ours to offer a wider public benefit: to share the lessons learnt from complaints in order to help improve the way police services are provided within our jurisdictions.
We are happy with the numerous achievements you have recorded since the assumption of office as the Head of this great Commission. We know it is one of your goals to make policing better; as well as build safe, secure, and stable communities in Nigeria. However, we implore for more in-depth considerations in handling issues relating to business and professional women. We are glad there had been the establishment of gender desks in major Police Formations in the Country, but most of them still lack competent officers to man these desks. We, therefore, advocate for the capacity development of Police Personnel who shall become experts in the field of women protection, as this will broaden their understanding of the intrigues involved in tackling issues on violence against women, as well as bridge the gap of complexities involved in handling crimes against women.
Furthermore, it will be a perfect idea if the Police Service Commission shall consider and establish a Unit on its own, charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints against Police Officers, more particularly in cases of allegations of incivility, extortions, torture, different degrees of insensitivity, human rights violations and abuse of process while handling matters concerning women, especially the women in business. There had been numerous incidences of perversion of the Rule of Law and Justice by Police Officers, and a greater number of women had lost confidence in the Police. This consideration will no doubt, help in re-building the trust of the Nigerian Women in the Police. It will re-kindle their confidence, and empower them to keep their communities safe.
It will also be beneficial if more Women are engaged in the activities of Police Community Relations Committees. This is so because the woman is the closest to the family and the community, and has an innate ability of pointing out miscreants even before the committal of a proposed crime. In this manner, the scope of police actions will positively broaden by assuming wider problem-solving and preventive measures and responsibilities.
In general, we urge this Commission to encourage the Police Force in being more accountable in the discharge of its services as a public institution. We implore you to ensure the Police expand its consultations, and cooperation with women, and engage more women in the communities as well as factor in their priorities and concerns in the delivery of policing services. Civil Service is about Service Delivery; Government is all about the people; Therefore, Public Service including this Service Commission, must deliver on the service needs of the people. We thank you for the ones you have been doing, and urge you to please do more, for we are certain you can.
As a member of the Women’s Major Group as well as the Business & Industry Major Groups of the UN, we had been contributories to the development of the World’s Post-2015 Agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals before the end of this year. NNWES is poised at ensuring the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, the following goals:
“GOAL- 1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere
GOAL- 5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
GOAL- 8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all; and
GOAL-16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
These Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals which the World Leaders, including Nigerian’s had agreed to, and will be giving a final credence to, this September at the UN Headquarters in New York are the next Agenda we are pursuing. We need your great support to ensure that Nigeria joins all other nations of the world in actualizing them.
On that premise, therefore, Sir, we wish to bring before you, the Pilot Project which our Network has mapped out for the next few months, beginning from October 2015. The Project is tagged: “Nigerian Women; Together we can build our Nation”. This project is designed to identify, empower and mentor Nigerian Women in Service Oriented Businesses, as well as ensure these identified women in turn, mentor and empower numerous other women from their localities. In that vein, by the time we are done with each Area Council in the F.CT, and Local Government Areas of each State, we would have succeeded in ending poverty in thousands of families, and introducing sustainable economic growths to a huge number of families in our dear Nation. Through that achievement, we shall be contributing a large quota in crime reduction, and Value addition.
We would be kicking off the Project with the Women in Kuje Area Council of the F.C.T. on the 24 of October, 2015. We are using this medium to seek your fatherly support, morally and financially to ensure these projects receive the huge success they demand, and bring the desired change in our society.
Honourable and Distinguished Chairman Sir, we thank you once again for this warm welcome, despite the short notice. We urge you to please, always consult with us on issues concerning business and professional women in Nigeria, and implore you further to keep your doors wide open for us, each time we come calling. We remain most grateful to you and the entire Commission for this wonderful reception.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SIR!
BARR. NKIRU JOY OKPALA,
Nigerian Network of Women Exporters of Services (NNWES)
(For and on behalf of NNWES).