The Kebbi State Government in collaboration with UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have engaged various stakeholders on how to reduce infant mortality and improve lives of children and their potentialities in the state.
Supreme reports that stakeholders were drawn from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), state Ministry of Health, Primary Healthcare Development Agency and state Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Others were from state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Federal of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, among others.
Alhaji Abba Sani-Kalgo, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, while addressing the stakeholders at the situation analysis report programme, said that the situation analysis report was important to plan for all the children in the state.
“Gov. Atiku Bagudu is committed to welfare of children and we have a number of crosscutting issues we have to look at and debate and come up with a policy for improvement in the next meeting.
“We hope to cut down all the problems bedeviling our children in Kebbi, cut down infant mortality, increase access to good school for them, and have social protection.
“We also want the girl children to get a decent education as their male counterpart,” he said.
Sani-Kalgo also revealed that the state government had started initiations to improve the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with emphasis to the improvement of agricultural investment.
“We have started doing things to improve IGR; we have looked at the areas of potential with emphasis to agricultural investment as we are trying to improve investment in agriculture.
“We are committed to trade and investment, so the more committed we have been, the more investment we bring in, the more IGR we generate and the more money there is to contribute to the budget deficit for the state,” the commissioner said.
Earlier, the Social Policy Specialist, Sokoto UNICEF Office, Mr Isa Ibrahim, said that they brought together the critical stakeholders on child development, survival and learning to see how they could improve the lives of children.
“Over the years, our intervention is more of programmatic directly and we have realised that the poverty that is recycling within the same family where children are growing is till creating a lot of gaps on what we intend to see.
“And, how we want to see these children are getting their lives and achieving their potential.
“These are our major concern and our focus now is to see how we can work with the state government in terms of prioritising child policies, child strategies and child related issues.
“The focus should also be around child friendly budgeting, so the investment of funding should be focused on development survival and achievement of children potentialities,” he said.
Ibrahim explained that the aim of the report was to provide a clear focus to Government on problems and recommendations related to parents, traditional leaders, community behavioural change and policy direction, among others.