DUTSE:-Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Badaru, has assured the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, that his government will pay all outstanding counterpart cash contributions to all interventions supported by the UN agency for children in Jigawa State.
Receiving the Mr. Bhanu Pathak, the new Chief of Field Office of the UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field during the latter’s courtesy call on him in his office in Dutse, Governor Badaru commended UNICEF for its support to the state, expressing the commitment of his government to strengthening the partnership.Unicef
Governor Badaru who said he released 150 million Naira counterpart cash contribution for the procurement of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for the treatment of malnourished children in 2017, requested the Permanent Secretary in the state’s Health Ministry to compile and forward to him all outstanding counterpart cash contribution for action.
Governor Badaru requested that the UNICEF official should visit the state again “for a technical meeting with my technical staff,” stressing that he would like to participate in that meeting to enable him understand and track issues in the partnership with UNICEF for the required attention.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Pathak said his visit to the governor was to “ get to meet you, and to build on the strong partnership that already exists between UNICEF and your government for the overall goal of ensuring that the children of Jigawa State not only survive and thrive, but are provided the opportunities to fulfil their God-endowed potentials.”
“Over the years, UNICEF has been partnering with the Jigawa State government in the sectors of health; nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and child protection; amongst others.
“Despite the progress recorded in our collaboration in above sectors, we still must do a lot; if we must achieve – as we should aim to do – our goal of ensuring the realisation of the rights of children in Jigawa State.
“The imperative and commitment to achieving this goal is so urgent that I do not hesitate, to highlight, your excellency, even on a maiden visit like this one, sectors that require our urgent attention in our partnership.”
Mr. Pathak listed the sectors that need urgent attention as including child malnutrition which he said was a public health problem in Jigawa State. He identified the others as low Immunisation coverage -both routine and Polio – calling on the governor to release counterpart cash contributions of 300 million Naira for RUTF procurement for the treatment of malnourished children; and 170 million Naira for primary healthcare outreach services to reach the unreached and purchase of 50 Direct Solar Drives to get vaccines closer to the people.
The UNICEF Chief of Field Office commended the governor for release of counterpart funding in the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Sector, noting that together with the contributions of UNICEF, made possible through funding from UKAid and the European Union, the gesture had resulted in no fewer than 1.3 million people in Jigawa having access to clean water; and over 1.5 million people having access to sanitation and hygiene services.
Mr. Pathak said “ UNCEF will continue to fulfil her obligations in the partnership with Jigawa State government; and will support the state to implement interventions that help the State, and indeed Nigeria, attain the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the sectors of our collaborations.