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APC senators to mobilise for social investment to check malnutrition, stunting



Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia (APC-Jigawa) on Tuesday said the 9th National Assembly is committed to making laws that would promote social investment and curb malnutrition and stunting among Nigerian children.

Hadejia made this known at a meeting on the Dissemination of End line Findings of the Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP), organised by Save the Children in Abuja.

According to him, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) came into power both at the national and the state levels it committed to a stable economy for all, thereby introducing social investment programmes to alleviate poverty.

The former deputy governor of Jigawa said that it is sad that statistics show that Northern states, especially Jigawa, Zamfara, Borno and Yobe have the highest levels of stunting in the country.

“This calls for attention.

“So, on our own part as APC senators at the National Assembly, since we now have the majority number and the leadership, we will ensure that this party policy of improving welfare of Nigerians is implemented.

“Most states that are slow to adopt laws on social investment are doing so because the system has been politicised. But this time around it will be a very transparent set of rules,” he said.

Hadejia said that Jigawa state has come up with its social protection policy in form of a modern cash transfer project and has budgeted N1 billion to that effect with another N400 million for ‘You-Win’ Project.

He commended the CDGP initiative, urging states to put in place their own measures that would help curb poverty and step up nutrition among children.

Mr Alex Stevens, Team Leader and Senior Governance Adviser, Conflict and Social Development Team, said that the Department for International Development (DFID) is proud to support the programme to promote investment in social protection and nutrition.

Stevens said the cash transfers from the CDGP had changed the lives of some women who were being helped with N4,000 for babies and mothers .

He said the programme had helped in putting the relationship between husbands and wives on a more even footing as some women have been able to feed their families, save and invest.

Stevens added that, in Nigeria, there is much to be done to reach the 87 million people estimated to be living in extreme poverty and programmes like the CDGP should be leveraged upon to reduce the number.

Mr Apera Lorwakwagh, National Coordinator, National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) however, revealed that as the CDGP ends in 2019, the Federal Government would take over, having learnt a lot from the pilot programme .

Lorwakwagh said that the administration is committed to giving Nigerians a better life through its social investment programmes to address poverty among the poorest of the poor.

Earlier, Ms Ramatu Buda’r-Aliyu, National Programme Manager, CDGP – Save the Children, said that the programme had reached 93,000 women in five Local Government Areas(LGAs) of Jigawa and Zamfara .

Buda’r-Aliyu said that the monthly cash transfer is given to women from pregnancy till their children turned two years old to enhance their nutrition and give them the adequate diet that they could not afford due to poverty.

She said that N11 billion was spent and 85,000 babies were born into the programme with 630,105 household members and 16,784 control communities to be reached .

The national programme manager said the group would now give technical support to the government for further intervention.