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Breastfeeding, a building block for human capital development – Commissioner

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Breastfeeding, a building block for human capital development – Commissioner

Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Fellow Press

Mr Muktar Ahmed, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), has said that optimal breastfeeding is the building block for human capital development and essential to child survival.

Mukthar said this at a one-day strategic dialogue on the implementation of six months maternity leave and establishment of creches in work places.

It was organised by the Department of Aid Coordination, Kaduna PBC, in collaboration with UNICEF.

He noted that breastfeeding also contributed to health and development, adding that poor Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices were major contributors to the high burden of infant and childhood morbidity and mortality.

He explained that breastfeeding children also provided all the necessary nutrients for growth, and contained important antibodies fighting against diseases which made the child smarter.

The commissioner further said that
mothers also benefited from breastfeeding, noting that it reduced the risk of depression, breast and ovarian cancer, saved time and money, while enhancing bond between mother and child .

“it is based on this that the Kaduna State Government became one of the states to implement the WHO-recommended six months paid maternity leave policy and would ensure provision of creches to aid breastfeeding mothers to continue nursing their babies even after resuming work.

“In addition to promoting the health and wellbeing of its citizens, the present administration is poised to invest in human capital development as contained in its sustained agenda.

“The sustained agenda is aimed at building and strengthening a health care system that is preventive in approach, well equipped and staffed, accessible and affordable, and oriented to deliver a decent standard of care,” he said.

In a presentation tittled “The roles of stakeholders in promoting breastfeeding”, the Director, Development Aid Coodination PBC, Mrs Linda Yakubu, said breastfeeding was one of the most cost effective and impactful practices for reducing malnutrition and under-five mortality.

Yakubu described breastfeeding as a human rights issue for babies and mothers, stressing that it should be protected and promoted for the benefit of both.

She, therefore, called on the government and stakeholders to work together to create a breastfeeding-friedly environment for lactating mothers.

“A warm chain of support will help build an enabling environment for breastfeeding and protect parents
and families against breastmilk substitutes industry influence.

“Legislation must be enacted and upheld to protect mothers and parents right to enhanced maternity and parental leave.

“Establishment of creches and lactating rooms for working mothers to sustain continous breastfeeding practices is very important,” Yakubu said.

Also, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, said breast milk contained everything baby needed for the first six months of life in all the right proportions.

She added that breast milk composition changed according to babies changing needs, especially during the first month of life.

Ezeife, therefore said in view of that, Kaduna MDAs should ensure provision of creches for babies to enjoy uninterrupted six months of breastfeeding by their mothers while at working place.

She said UNICEF was working towards ensuring the provision of creches at all the MDAs was a reality.

Also, the Project Manager of Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, (ANRiN), Dr. Zainab Muhammad-Idris, said that breast milk provided optimal nutrition for babies.

She noted that it had the right amount of nutrients and easily digested and readily available at birth.

Muhammad-Idris who is a medical practitioner, added that breastfeeding also reduced the disease burden for mothers.

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Minimum wage: Archbishop urges compromise

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Archbishop Joseph Ojo, General Overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, on Saturday urged labour leaders and the Federal Government to reach a compromise as regards a new minimum wage.

Ojo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The archbishop described wage negotiation as a social contract that should be approached with empathy by parties.

According to him compromise is needed in the matter to save the country from anxiety.

“They should consider the fact that the unemployed are much more than the few that are in government employment.

“The federal, states and local governments only employed some workers.

“Others are in firms owned and operated by individuals that might not be able to pay higher wage.

“The higher they push it, the higher the inability of the unemployed to survive, because firms, which struggle to pay staff, may not talk of hiring new ones,” he said.

The cleric said that lack of employment might result in increase in crimes.

“There are private sector employers, who cannot cope with what the federal or states will offer,” he added.

The cleric said that high wage bill might compel private schools to increase school bills to meet up with overhead costs.

“Some parents will not meet up, and their children would be forced to drop out of school,” he said.

He also advised governments to consider subsisting social-economic variables, such as cost of food items, transport and medical bills, and offer a sustainable minimum wage.

“The parties ought to put all these into consideration to achieve progress in their negotiation,” the cleric said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are now demanding N250, 000 as a new minimum wage.

The Federal Government has offered to pay N62,000.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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Over 200 intending pilgrims protest in Ilorin over faulty aircraft

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Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Fellow Press

No fewer than 200 intending pilgrims from Kwara on Friday protested at llorin international Airport over the inability of an aircraft to transport them to Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrims, officials of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board and the 2024 state Amirul Hajj had boarded the aircraft since Thursday.

The aircraft was, however, said to have developed a technical fault.

Some engineers with the Federal Airport Authority had been making frantic efforts to repair the faulty aircraft since Thursday without success.

Consequently, some of the intending pilgrims staged a protest over the development.

The intending pilgrims, alongside their relations, took the protest to the highway linking the airport with other communities to express their displeasure over the situation.

Some of the protesters were seen singing solidarity songs condemning the situation, especially since they are the tenth and last batch from the state.

Sen. lbrahim Oloriegbe, the state’s 2024 Amirul Hajj, while speaking with NAN, attributed the failure to transport the last batch of the pilgrims to faulty aircraft.

Oloriegbe said the intending pilgrims had boarded the aircraft since Thursday but were unable to be transported following the development.

The Amirul hajj said that they are expecting another aircraft from Medinnah to transport the intending pilgrims and the officials.

He appealed to them to exercise patience, as the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria was on top of the situation.

He said that the board would continue to cater for the feeding of the intending pilgrims pending when they would be transported to the holy land.

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