Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre in partnership with Women Right Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) with support from McArthur Foundation organized a day town hall meeting on Gender and Accountability project, with particular focus on Impact of Corruption on Women in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on December 5, 2018. The aim of the town hall meeting is to enable participants understand and speak out on against the impact of corruption and its practices on women’s ability to access right, justice services and opportunities from the perspective of accountability in governance and services especially in Agriculture.
The town hall meeting was attended by 40 participants drawn from Ministry of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom State, Civil Society organizations, media practitioners, farmers, community women, physically challenged, teachers, nurses, cooperatives and local government councilors and supervisors.
The town hall meeting coincided with the 16 days Activism and the observation of December 5th by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as the World Soil Day which is also an important day for Women in Agriculture.
The participants observed as follows:
i. That although the Nigerian Government has signed unto the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2016, the Akwa Ibom State government is yet to sign unto the policy documents.
ii. Owing to the fact that Akwa Ibom state is yet to sign unto the OGP, the World Bank grant is being denied by the state.
iii. That signing unto the OGP will make government transparent and accountable in giving out loans/grants to farmers, particularly women for information transparency.
iv. That the big monster blocking the Agricultural sector in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State is corruption.
v. That 95% of farmers in Akwa Ibom state are women.
vi. The lack of making existing land tenure and land holding registry public hinders women in the agricultural sector.
vii. Participants maintained that hunger, starvation and food insecurity is due to inadequate women access to agricultural loans and support from government.
viii. That signing unto the OGP will increase women participation in promoting food security in the value chain.
Participants resolved as follows:
i. Government of Akwa Ibom State should endeavor to key into the OGP as a measure to bring in more development to the state and to curb corruption in the agricultural sector.
ii. That government should inform their counterparts around Nigeria to sign unto the OGP, so that Akwa Ibom state can enjoy the benefits that across to them through the World Bank and other development agencies.
iii. That signing unto the OGP will reduce the menace of corruption and make government more accountable to the people, especially women.
iv. That signing unto OGP will promote information transparency whereby names of beneficiaries on Agricultural loans and grant will be published to increase women participation in Agriculture.
v. That government should make policies that are friendly to assist women in land acquisitions and eradicate cultural bias by families and communities on issues of women access in land ownership.
vi. That government should assist women in providing improved seedlings, fertilizers and subsidy to promote food security and food sufficiency in Akwa Ibom State.
Participants call on government to use the World Soil Day to reward rural women in agriculture by protecting the land against environmental degradation and pollution, which generates from the extractive industries.
Participants appreciated Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for building their
capacity and empowering them through the town hall meeting and promise to use the knowledge gained
to change the status.
Signed: (for communiqué committee)
Princess Victoria Umoh
Barr Iniobong Isaac Udo