The Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum has pledged to work towards ensuring the prompt release of nutrition budgets in the 36 states of the federation.
They also pledged to advocate the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, adoption of six months of paid maternity leave for working mothers, as well as empower women and girls.
Speaking at a one-day National Conference on Women in Power in Abuja, the Chairperson of the NGWF, Mrs. Tambuwal said, “We are calling for accountability in terms of funds allocated for nutrition. We will ensure that there is proper disbursement of funds meant for nutrition at the state level. As governor’s wives, we are role models and would ensure that children have access to good nutrition.”
She charged mothers to ensure that their children have access to good nutrition, especially in the early phase of their lives.
“We need to ensure that every child has access to good nutrition, especially within the first 1000 days. We are paying attention to women in the rural areas,” she added.
Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen said promoting exclusive breastfeeding in the first 1000 days, from pregnancy to two years of age is critical to enable all children to live healthily.
“Breast milk contributes to child brain development, increased intelligence and lifelong productivity. The benefit of breastfeeding to both mother and child and society is quite enormous.
” It is essential to provide breastfeeding rooms, on-site crèches, and flexible work options to ensure baby-friendly workplaces. Empowering women and girls with education and resources to enable them to access optimal nutrition for themselves and their families,” she said.
The Minister noted that the federal government is engaging in different initiatives to improve the nutrition indices in the country.
She said, “The ministry is among the five critical sectors identified to implement the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRIN) project.
“It is an initiative by the Government of Nigeria with support from the World Bank to increase the utilization of quality, cost-effective, and high-impact nutrition services for pregnant, lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under five years.”
On her part, the Board of Trustee Member, Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria, Dr. Mbang Kooffreh, called for the empowerment of women and girls through access to continuous education, inclusion in decision-making, and economic opportunities for optimal nutrition.
“When girls and women are empowered, they will be at their best and be able to give their children and family quality and nutritious food,” she added.
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