FIWON Advocacy Mission to Abuja
The FIWON leadership embarked on an advocacy campaign to draw the attention of government and public institutions to the suffering going on in the informal sector as a result of the terrible impacts of the Covid-19 measures. Key government institutions including the SMEDAN, The Nirsa Microfinance, a CBN social intervention bank, the Ministry of Labour etc. At the end of the visits which lasted a whole week, a press conference was addressed on November 13, 2020. The press conference took on specific areas of concern to informal workers, the special vulnerabilities and the urgent need for social safety nets to be extended to the informal sector in a more comprehensive way. The conference was widely reported in the local electronic and print media.
The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) supported two interface workshops which took place in the two Northern cities of Kaduna and Kano between November 25 and 29, 2020. The workshops facilitated direct interface between informal workers’ leaders from the two states with key state government ministries, agencies and departments including the state offices of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agencies of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Ministry of Business and Innovation, Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs were all represented in the interface workshops in the two states. A second part of the workshops involved extensive discussion of key international social development instruments; the SDGS 8 and 11, the New Urban Agenda 2016, and the ILO Recommendation 202 and 204 and their relevance for designing local development intervention policies at the state levels. Government officials explained policies and programmes of their respective agencies, tried to explain gaps in implementation and pledged support for FIWON members in the future. FIWON members also expressed delight about the programme and pledged to follow up on commitments made by the state government officials.