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Inadequate funding, irregular cash releases, others slow down better nutrition outcome in Kaduna State – LGA focal persons

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Kaduna state

 

Local Government Areas (LGAs) Nutrition Focal Persons (NFPs), have lamented that inadequate funds and irregular cash releases are slowing down the pace of achieving better results in nutrition in Kaduna State

The focal persons said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), during the second day of a three-day quarterly review meeting in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The quaterly review, organised for the LGAs NFPs by the Kaduna State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN), was supported by UNICEF, NAFDAC and Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), among others.

The NFP of Kagarko LGA (Zone 3), Mrs Christain Aeron, said 2023 had posed challenges to nutrition activities in the LGA.

She observed that lack of cash release in 2023 affected implementation of the Nutritional Action Plan in the LGA and attributed it to the electioneering activities in the year.

Aeron, however, commended the LGA, noting that previous years moved smoothly because of regular cash releases which aided implementation of activities aimed at improving nutrition indices in the area.

“This year, there is shortage in release of funds for nutrition activity in the LGA; we only got funds once this year for nutrition,” she said

The focal person added that due to timely release of funds in previous years in the LGA, various activities in line with the State Action Plan on Nutrition went on smoothly with supervision.

She said the economy had taken a toll on everybody, including the state, while calling for timely release of the available funds for nutrition activities due to its importance to human capital development and overall well-being.

She expressed optimism that the three-day meeting would enhance their capacity and ensure they kept abreast of their responsibilities as NFPs.

Similarly, Fatima Mohammed, the NFP of Kaduna South LGA (Zone 2), said their main challenge was also irregular release of funds for nutrition services.

“We have in our plan to conduct food demonstrations, and create nutrition corners, but due to irregular release of funds we are unable to do it.

“It wasn’t like this previous years; the irregularities in fund release could be attributed to the electioneering activities which took place in the year,” Mohammed said.

She said due to the paucity of funds for nutrition activities in the LGA, they would focus on prevention.

Mohammed said to address the challenges of paucity of funds, the LG would organise outreaches to educate pregnant/lactating mothers and adolescent girls on consuming and giving their children diets that would prevent malnutrition.

 

She said the review meeting had broadened her horizon to the need to collaborate with the agriculture department in many ways, to tackle malnutrition in the area.

On his part, Muhammand Tukur, the NFP of Zaria LGA (Zone 1), said the major challenge in his area of responsibility was household food insecurity.

He explained that the rural areas in the LGA and some parts in the urban areas had high rate of poverty that triggered more people to the facilities to access nutrition services.

Going forward in addressing the challenges, Tukur said he had written to the LGA, seeking extension of their services to reach out to the areas having food insecurity.

He added that he would engage in advocacy visit to religious leaders, hold meetings with farmers associations on how to increase their production and also help the needy with nutritious foods.

The focal person noted that he was currently engaged in sensitisation for the use of available local foods in households.

He, however, said the Zaria LGA had no problem of funding for nutrition activities.

Tukur, therefore, said the review meeting would avail them the opportunity to update their capacities to have quality data for the state.

“It will also build our capacity on how to write, analyse and use reports. Our nutrition indices is good in Zaria, we are working to ensure no case of malnutrition in Zaria,” he said.

Responding, Mrs Ramatu Haruna, the Kaduna State Nutrition Officer (SNO), stressed that all the 23 LGAs in the state had budget line for nutrition.

She, therefore, noted that the LGAs NFPs needed to advocate and clearly itemise and define their activities and present evidence and justification that would trigger the release of the funds.

She added that they must present realistic data that would help the Local Government Authority to take decision.

Haruna, however said the state would follow up with the LG authorities to see how the issues of funds could be sorted out.

Speaking further, she noted that the state of malnutrition in Kaduna had significantly improved due to availability of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food ( RUTF) for the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition.

“As at June 2023 the number of children on admission was 16,217 and 12,328 responded to treatment and were cured and discharged,”she said.

Earlier at the meeting, the Chairman of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN), Mr Bashir Muhammad, urged the NFPs to improve their capacity to ensure better nutrition indices in their LGAs.

He was represented by the Director Development Aid Coordination Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), Mrs Linda Yakubu.

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Osun Poly Student, Olanrewaju Olatona killed by hit-and-run one-way driver

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A Student Of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Osun State, has died after being hit by a trailer driver on Monday, April 15.

The Accident was said to have occurred when the driver, who was reportedly driving against traffic, collided with the motorcycle conveying a student named Olanrewaju Olatona and another passenger along the Ikirun-Osogbo road area of the state.

Due to the severe impact, Olanrewaju Olatona, a National Diploma 2 student, suffered fatal injuries. He died at the scene.

 

Olatona, who was the Financial Secretary of the Department of Mass Communication, was preparing for the one-year Industrial Training programme.

The driver fled the scene after the accident and has not been apprehended.

Subsequently, Osun State Polytechnic students organised a procession in front of the school gate and blocked the expressway for several hours.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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