Tuesday 14 March 2017

The Jigawa state government has approved funds totalling N280 Million towards tackling malnutrition in the state.

The Executive Governor of Jigawa State, His Excellency, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar represented by his deputy, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan received the team from Save the Children, led by the Country Director, Ben Foot at the Deputy Governor’s Office, Dutse, Jigawa State.

Speaking during the visit, the country Director for Save the Children Nigeria, Ben Foot commended the state Government for taking steps to address the lingering problem of malnutrition in the state by approving funds totalling N280 Million Naira for Nutrition in 2016 Appropriation Bill.

Mr. Foot also lauded the decision of the 12 LGAs implementing CMAM to increase the monthly logistics and routine drug support basket fund contribution from 25 thousand to 250 thousand monthly. He further called on the Jigawa state Government to extend the same gesture to the 2017 budget.

He said, “I am aware your government has approved the sum of N280 Million naira for Nutrition in the 2016 appropriation bill and also pray you continue for 2017”. Ben Foot Said.

The Jigawa state Government had taken steps towards allocating resources for nutrition in Jigawa state by creating a dedicated nutrition budget line in 2012 following series of advocacy by Save the Children and other partners.

The state prior to the intervention of Save the Children through its advocacy efforts had set aside a contribution of N25,000 per local government naira contribution from the 12 CMAM implementing LGAs till 2016 which was not enough to tackle malnutrition in the state compared to the scale of malnutrition in the State.

Mr. Foot in showing appreciation to the State government said he was delighted that more is been committed to tackle issues affecting lives of children such as Malnutritio

He also lamented the state of girl child education in the state which he said it was far below the national average and urged the government to prioritize education.

Mr. Foot further said that as a Child focused organization, it will not be out of place to bring to attention of the government, issues of child protection for children in the state. He called on the government of Jigawa State to ensure that there is a framework to enhance child protection in Jigawa state.

He also urged the government to protect the rights of children by passing the Child Rights Act which was earlier enacted but later repealed. He called on the Government to pass the law as it will protect children rights in the state.

The Governor, represented by his Deputy thanked Save the Children for the interventions been implemented in the state particularly Save the Children’s Nutrition programme (WINNN) and the Child Development Grant program.

In his response, he stated that it was a shock to the Executive Governor when the he was presented with pictures of malnourished children in the state.

“We first doubted if those pictures were actually from Jigawa state, but later confirmed that they were actually from the state. The government will do everything within its powers to address malnutrition in the State”, Hassan Ibrahim said.

Education been one of the present government priorities, the Deputy Governor Barrister Hassan Ibrahim  also confirmed that Jigawa State has completed payment of all the backlog of UBE counterpart funding and that the State will soon access UBE funds and start implementation of Educational interventions in the state.

Mr. Ibrahim also informed the team from Save the Children of the government’s willingness to  write to the Department for International Development (DFID), to extend the Women For Health (W4H) programme to allow the state Government get prepared to sustain the project since the project is coming to an end at the time the Nation’s economy is in recession.

“A little extension will enable the government get prepared to take over from where the projects stop”, he said.

The Governor maintained that, the Child Right Act was passed but later repealed due to some controversial clauses. He assured the team from Save the Children Nigeria that the bill will be treated and he will also do a follow up to make sure the bill is passed.

Save the Children, through Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) has been working in Jigawa State via partnership with Action Against Hunger (ACF) to tackle malnutrition and reduce it to the barest minimum in Jigawa.