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Yemi Alade joins UNDP’s call for urgent action to protect those hit hardest by COVID-19 surge

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Yemi Alade
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined by key voices in international development, reiterates the importance of protecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people hit hardest by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. This call comes under the auspices of the 2020 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in the event “Half the World: The Many Faces of Social Protection”. Half the world refers to 55 percent of the world’s population that are not covered by social insurance or social assistance, according to ILO data.

Joining the event from Lagos, Nigeria, globally acclaimed Afropop star Yemi Alade shone a spotlight on those suffering the direst consequences of the pandemic, such as young women who are self-employed and are the sole providers for their families.

“We are here to talk about half the world, the half that wakes up every morning to go to work despite and because of the global pandemic,” Alade said. “It’s about the young woman who is struggling to make ends meet and risking her health to provide for her family.”

“Let’s not let billions of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people fall through the cracks in our society,” she said.

The event was hosted by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, who reiterated UNDP’s responsibility for integrated action and called on all development partners to step up on social protection.

“We cannot afford to become inured to poverty, hunger and jobs figures that keep getting worse. We cannot sleepwalk into a new normal. Unprecedented action is needed, and it is needed now,” Steiner said. “There are some great examples of how developing countries are addressing social protection challenges—from cash to supplements income to in-kind assistance that supplements nutrition, to care systems geared towards working women.”

Steiner added: “Unless we bring fresh perspective and ideas to the table, successful action will depend on an uneven patchwork of social assistance, social insurance and systems of care around the world.”

Among other featured speakers at the event were UNDP’s partners from governments and the international development sector, including HE Cina Lawson, Minister of Postal Affairs and Digital Economy of Togo; Reema Nanavaty, Director General of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association); Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr Guy Standing, Professor at SOAS University of London and co-founder of Basic Income Earth Network; and Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), who joined via a video message.

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Lagos govt. grants pardon to Funke Akindele, husband over breach of COVID-19 regulations

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The Lagos state government on Friday granted pardon to actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who had earlier  been convicted for an offence related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, in a statement noted that the couple was granted pardon because they were non-custodial convicts.

The statement also revealed that 56 inmates from various correctional Centres were granted state pardon.

“A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the statement read in part.

“The 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.

“The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime”.

It will  be recalled that eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated by Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.

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Nigerian film Eyimofe set for London premiere, debuts trailer

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As part of activities to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day anniversary, a film, Eyimofe (This is my desire) is set to premiere in the United Kingdom, at the BFI London Film Festival on October 11.

The film, which had its world premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February, is also billed to celebrate its U.S premiere at the AFI Fest on October 20.

Ahead of the London screening, which will create an opportunity for the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom to join in the country’s 60th anniversary celebration, Eyimofe has debuted its official trailer for the festival, which is already generating interest from the global film community.

A GDN Studios production, the 114 minutes film directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, features Jude Akuwudike, Temi Ami-Williams, Cynthia Ebijie, Sadiq Daba, Tomiwa Edun, Jacobs Alexander, Tomiwa Edun, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah and others.

Funded entirely in Nigeria and shot in 16mm and filmed across 48 locations in Lagos, the two chapter drama follows the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), a factory technician, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores.

A passport, photos and a visa form recurring elements. The characters’ misfortunes are part of their everyday life and they are sketching out the need to leave Nigeria at the same time.

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At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, status, money, gender, skin colour and family structures are inextricably connected. The longing for another life is but one thread in this complex mesh, a promise that floats above things at once near and far away.

It would be recalled that Eyimofe is the 2020 official selection for Vancouver International Film Festival, an annual film festival held in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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PHOTOS: Odebunmi facilitates  film making training for constituents

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The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere Federal Constituency, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi has facilitated an empowerment training program for members of his Constituency on Film Making and Cinematography for self reliance.

Odebunmi, who also chairs the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday informed that the training was part of  his quest for human development.

Remarking, the lawmaker justified the training as  one of the ways of encouraging the youths to think out of the box and make use of the technology advancement to create another source of income.

” I grew up in this community and I know what majority of our people are passing through especially now that the economy of the world is being challenged, people need multiple streams of income and I am making  use of every opportunity to assist my people by training them on how to make use of their talents and make more money through entertainment”, he said.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the  National Assembly for the opportunity, urging the participants to take the advantage to better their lots .

The lead speaker, Mr Maruff Ajibolu charged  participants to take full compliment of the training as Nigeria’s creative industries are slowly breaking new grounds and currently recognised as among the biggest globally.  This he noted led to its marking as a priority sector in the FGN’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with a very high projected income  over the coming years and also led the Federal government to grant most segments within the creative industries including Nollywood conditional access to pioneer status incentives which include holidays from the payment of companies’ income taxes as well as withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.

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Also remarking, a key player in the creative industry, Mr. Muyiwa Ademola also harped on the huge potential subsumed in cinematography and film making. The Nollywood star further noted  that the event was a rare opportunity, because it has always been either FG , CBN and World bank projects.

“It was designed to help people discover their talents and passion with the intent of turning it into a source of income”, Ademola added.

The training which took place concurrently at Resource Centre, Igbo-Ile Surulere LG and Ajaawa Town Hall, Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa LG, had other notable speakers which included, Mr Yemi Ogunyemi,  Mr Ojo Oluwatona.

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