The Trent

The United Nations, UN, has revealed that Nigeria recorded over 3,600 rape cases nationwide during the COVID-19.

The UN also expressed concerns over the spate of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed, made this known during the launch of the ‘Violence against Women and Girls Situation Room – Spotlight Initiative’.

The programme which was jointly organised by the European Union, UN and Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development allows decision-makers and programme managers to analyse and view GBV data in real-time.

Mohammed said the joint ‘Spotlight Initiative’ aims to create a Nigeria where all women and girls, particularly those most vulnerable, live a life free from violence and harmful practices.

She said, “The need for this initiative has perhaps never been as evident as amid the COVID–19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world including Nigeria. The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, has stated that the number of rapes has increased by three times compared to the previous level. During the lockdown, each state in Nigeria has reported over 100 rape cases, equalling over 3,600 rape cases nationwide. This points to a shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls on top of the Coronavirus pandemic, and calls for all actors to come together and take urgent action to protect the rights of women and girls.”

She further explained that “one of the key priorities of the Spotlight Initiative is to enhance data availability and capacities. There has previously been paucity of data related to ‘Violence Against Women and Girls, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Harmful Practices and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’. The main existing data sources are fragmented with poor coordination of the data collection process, often lack disaggregated data for vulnerable groups and disaggregation beyond state level, have small samples and are not widely disseminated.

“The National Violence Against Women and Girls Situation Room is an innovative data management and visualization platform which uses technology to enable government, decision-makers and program managers view and analyse data with ease.”

Also, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Otunba Adewunmi Onanuga called for a united action against gender-based violence in Nigeria.

The UN, who expressed concerns over the rising incidence of drugs ranked Nigeria highest in global drug use prevalence rate with 14.3% as against 5.3% for the entire world.

The UN National Programme Officer on Drugs and Crime, Mrs. Folusho Adelekan made the disclosure at a one-day sensitisation workshop on Drug Abuse and Rape facilitated by the Senate and House of Representatives joint committee on Narcotic Drugs.

According to her, available statistics show that there are 14.4million drug users in Nigeria and 14 .3% prevalence rate which is higher than the global statistics of 5.3% drug use prevalence rate.

She lamented that though Nigeria has a five years National Drug Control Master plan but not well funded operational wise.

“The National Drug Control Master Plan Nigeria came up with within the last two years, is not being funded adequately and the menace requires action packed operational strategy that must be well funded.

“Aside lack of well funded operational plans there are no enough treatment or rehabilitation centres in the country for drug addicts.”

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