The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has named the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as recipient of the maiden ERA/FoEN Social Security Award for his administration’s contributions to environmental protection and local economies through the empowerment of Community Development Associations (CDAs) and vulnerable groups.
The group in a statement issued in Lagos, said the award is a unique recognition given by ERA which is the Nigerian Chapter of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), an international federation of diverse grassroots-based environmental organizations in 76 countries working in solidarity for sustainable, equitable and just societies.
ERA/FoEN said the Ekiti State government model of engaging local communities is particularly unique, because of its similarity to ERA/FoEN Community Resource Centers that have become space for communities to engage on matters relating to their environment, livelihoods, conflict and development.
“The Board and Management of ERA/FoEN feel that Governor Fayemi deserves the Social Security Award for his doggedness in taking up the cause of local communities. Our firm belief is that this recognition will ginger him to do more in this regard,” said ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo.
Ojo pointed out that Dr. Fayemi’s support for the National Minimum Wage, the payment of monthly stipend for the aged, and his views on Basic Income Scheme for the poor, are particularly commendable and made him outstanding in the quest for protection of local economies and defense of rights of the voiceless and marginalised in society.
In his acceptance speech, Fayemi said that: “this recognition being given to our modest contribution to the wellbeing of our people will further challenge us not to waiver in our determination to make poverty history in Ekiti State”
The award will be formally announced at ERA/FoEN National Environmental Consultation (NEC) which will be holding on November 28 and 29, in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The NEC which has as theme: Our Forest, Our Life, will interrogate issues of deforestation and forest degradation with a view to sharpening focus on capacities and infrastructure that directly provide support to alternative, rights-based, community-driven forms of forest conservation, sustainable management as well as ecosystem restoration.
Dignitaries and CSOs expected at the meeting include, Prof Margaret Fubara- Okorodudu of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife who will deliver the Keynote address, community folks, journalists, captains of industries and the academia, etc.
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