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



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.


Kalu tasks NDDC to extend developmental projects to Abia community



Benjamin Kalu

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu has tasked the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure even spread of developmental projects to Ukwa community in Abia State.

He further said that the nine states making up the NDDC should not be neglected

Kalu said this during an interactive session with the delegation from Ukwa People’s Consultative Council led by its President General Don Ubani in Abuja

The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

Kalu expressed worry over the concerns raised by the delegation on the “undue marginalisation of Ukwa as an oil producing Community”.

He said there was need to ensure equal spread of intervention projects of the NDDC across the nine states.

According to him, the area is known for oil production and the status of Abia State as a member of NDDC came as a result of its ability to produce oil and gas from Ukwa.

“Interestingly, some of the things you mentioned have been my concerns in the 9th Assembly, in regards to the spread of intervention programmes of the NDDC across the nine states.

He said this led to the first visit of the acting MD that toured Abia, Imo and other states.

Kalu said he insisted that the tour was necessary, to have a proper update of their presence in various parts of the states.

This, according to him, is to be able to establish whether or not, the report they see on papers is the same thing on ground.

“I totally agree with you that, what we have in Abia, as an oil producing state and as a member of NDDC, comparatively speaking, is below average, in terms of developmental interventions.

“A call from the stakeholders that an improvement should take place, is definitely not a wrong call.

The deputy Speaker commended the leadership of Ukwa community for holding their youths and in spite the fact that the development interventions were below average.

He said they kept their heads peacefully and allowed all the IOCs handle their operations peacefully in those communities.

Earlier, Ubani who led the delegation, solicited the support of the House leadership towards ensuring equity and fair distribution of developmental projects to Ukwa community.

He said a time had existed in this system where the entire South East was shut-out, but under the present administration, at least the people have been given a sense of belonging

He said farmers in Ukwa federal constituency could not farm effectively because the fertility of the soil had been diminished due to oil exploration and exploitation.

“Let there be manifestation of concern on the part of NDDC. Nothing so far has given us course to be happy as oil producing area.

“We need to avoid situation that will create youth restiveness and the best way to do it is to make sure that there’s development, ” he said.

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LUTH denies late doctor worked 72-hour call duty



The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has denied allegations that one of its house officers, Dr Michael Umoh, died after a 72-hour call.

This is contained in a statement issued by LUTH management team in Lagos on Thursday.

“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son. It is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Dr Umoh died on Sept 17 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).

“The death of Dr Umoh is unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.

“The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023.

“He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.

Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.

“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

“The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption,” it said.

The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.

It said he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

“May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” LUTH said.

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