The Federal Government is set to establish mobile courts to address issues related to sexual harassment.

This announcement was made by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, during a one-day National Stakeholder’s Engagement on Sexual Harassment Prevention held on Tuesday in Abuja. The event was organized by the ICPC in collaboration with the Gender Mobile Initiative.

VERIFIED: Nigerians can now earn US Dollars with premium domains just like Americans, acquire for as low as $1200 and you profit $19000 (₦23million). Click here to start.

Mrs. Kennedy-Ohanenye expressed concern over the high rate of sexual harassment, particularly in tertiary institutions across the country, and emphasized that new measures are being implemented to tackle this issue.

“Sexual harassment is not confined to tertiary institutions; it also occurs in primary and secondary schools, often perpetrated by teachers and sometimes among pupils,” she stated. “We are also collaborating with hotel owners to prevent underage children from lodging and to report any such attempts to security operatives to curb this problem.”

She urged stakeholders to address sexual harassment vigorously to minimize the stigmatization and low self-esteem among victims.

Dr. Musa Aliyu, Chairman of the ICPC and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), highlighted the need for severe consequences for offenders to deter the increasing cases of sexual harassment. He noted that sexual harassment and other societal ills, including gender discrimination, are tarnishing the nation’s reputation.

“Only a consistent, persistent, focused, and united campaign can effectively address the challenge of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions,” Aliyu said. “A few years ago, ICPC, with the support of the Ford Foundation, executed a project aimed at curbing this societal issue, resulting in the drafting of model anti-sexual harassment policies for educational institutions.”

He explained that the commission engaged Gender Mobile Initiative to draft a model policy for tertiary institutions, which the Federal Ministry of Education has approved for primary and tertiary institutions.

“These policies are not necessarily meant to be adopted word for word by stakeholders,” Aliyu clarified. “They should serve as guidelines for what a comprehensive policy should contain, and can be adopted wholly by any institution that desires to do so.”

He reminded participants that anyone, regardless of status, designation, or gender, can be a victim or perpetrator of sexual harassment.

“Nigeria has many laws and policies, but many are not correctly implemented,” he stated. “Proper implementation of the model policies is crucial. The success of this initiative depends largely on the active participation and commitment of stakeholders.”

Omowumi Ogunrotimi, the founder and Executive Director of Gender Mobile Initiative, urged stakeholders to focus on prevention rather than response frameworks. “That is why we are collaborating with ICPC to ensure the policy we designed together is a product of extensive community engagement,” she said.

She recalled that in 2019 and 2020, a national conference was held to validate this policy with critical stakeholders, including the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and the student community.

“The policies center on leadership, participation, aspiration, and experiences of those most affected by structural inequity, mainly the student community,” Ogunrotimi added. “We aim to move this forward because, in Nigeria, policies do not automatically translate into implementation. That’s why we have drawn participants from across the country, including over 25 State Commissioners of Education, to participate in this program.”