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March 2, 2024
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Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Anthony Ojukwu, SAN

NHRC lauds FG for approving action plan on promotion, protection of human rights

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By Edith Nwapi

Dr Anthony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has lauded the Federal Government for approving the National Action Plan for the Promotion & Protection of Human Rights.

Ojukwu gave the commendation on Wednesday while inaugurating the national working group on business and human rights.

“You may recall that in April this year, the Federal Executive Council approved the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

“This achievement registers Nigeria as the third African Country among fifty four (54) other countries to have developed a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights after Kenya and Uganda.

“I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Federal Executive Council, for its unwavering commitment to human rights through the approval of the 2024 -2027 National Action Plan on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,” he said.

He added that the landmark decision demonstrated the government’s recognition of the crucial link between business activities and the protection of human rights.

“It marks the end of series of stakeholders’ engagement and consultative process on the draft document.

“It also sets the stage for a sustained comprehensive and coordinated approach to address the challenges and opportunities at the nexus of business and human rights.

“The inauguration of the National Working Group on Business and Human Rights at this occasion is targeted at exploiting the opportunities presented by the NAP on Business and Human Rights to chart the future for mainstreaming Human Rights into business in Nigeria,” Ojukwu said.

According to him, the commission is embarking on a new chapter in the collective efforts to ensure that businesses operating within the borders of Nigeria adhere to both nationally, regionally and internationally recognized human rights standards.

He added that the provision for the establishment of the National Working Group on Business and Human Rights in the NAP was to further ensure collective responsibility to the effective implementation of the action plan.

“It also signifies our commitment to fostering collaboration and coordination among relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, businesses, civil society organizations, Labour/Trade Unions, human rights defenders and community representatives.

“Together, we will chart a course towards implementing the NAP on Business and Human Rights, promoting responsible business conduct and addressing human rights impacts.

“This High-Level Forum provides a platform for robust discussions, knowledge-sharing, and the exchange of ideas on how best we can implement the NAP on Business and human rights and make our Country investor friendly while respecting human rights,” he said.

The National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, he said, would serve as guiding framework, providing a roadmap for integrating human rights considerations into business practices.

He said it outlined key priority areas, such as human rights due diligence, the duty to protect by government, the responsibility to request by businesses access to remedy, sustainable development goals, and the rights of vulnerable groups.

“The plan embodies our commitment to foster a business environment that upholds human rights, promotes sustainable development, and contributes to the well-being of all Nigerians” he said.

He urged the group to work towards creating an environment that would encourage responsible business practices and ensures that human rights are at the core of our economic growth.

NAN reports that the federal government in April approved the 2022-2026 Action Plan for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria.

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had told newsmen after the
approval then, that the plan was formulated by stakeholders in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.

He said the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting followed the then President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s compliance with NHRC, judgement and payment of N135 million compensation to victims and family members of the Sept. 18, 2013 Apo six killings. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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