The Jigawa State Ministry for Health has demanded that the 30 members of the State House of Assembly facilitate the allocation of the sum of N5 million from each N100 million constituency project to support nutrition interventions in the state.
This was contained in a communiqué issued after a day sensitisation meeting of members of Jigawa State House of Assembly, the state’s Ministry of Health and Civil Society Organisations.
The communiqué also called on the lawmakers to prioritise the appropriation, release and oversight for all nutrition budgets in the state.
“The Jigawa State Ministry of Health through the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) is concerned with the poor nutritional indices in the state as evidenced by national nutrition surveys,” it read.
The communiqué further stated that “deeper engagement with the members of the State House of Assembly will go a long way in fast-tracking nutrition budget appropriation, release and oversight at implementation level, in order to curtail the menace of childhood malnutrition in the state.”
The SPHCDA approached UNICEF for support in this engagement, which it says is the best way to coordinate nutrition funding from all stakeholders working within the state and outside.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers in the state have turned down the health ministry’s request.
The legislature entered into a heated debate while the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Management Board, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim, was presenting the communiqué at the end of a two-day workshop organised by UNICEF.
The lawmaker representing Kanya Constituency, Mr Usman Haladu, first kicked against the idea when it was read by the Executive Secretary, saying that more deliberations were needed in order for the matter to be concluded.
Another lawmaker, Mr Abubakar Muhammad, representing Hadejia Constituency, also argued that there are some modalities to be considered before it can be presented in the communiqué.
Reports from the state indicate that each of the 30 members of the state House of Assembly has the sum of N100 million for constituency projects of their choice in their respective constituencies.
Jigawa is one of the states in the country with the highest cases of children suffering from malnutrition, with 54 per cent of the children in the state reported to be having stunted growth.