BY CHRIS EKEKE, Abuja
Sokoto State government said it has paid the sum of N1.8 billion as counterpart funding in various initiatives entered into with UNICEF to boost basic education, healthcare delivery and sanitation in the state.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal stated this yesterday at the opening of a three day forum on high level advocacy and community engagement (ACE) in Sokoto.
The government also used the event to sign a memorandum of understanding between UNICEF, the Sultanate Council and the media to enhance coverage for immunisation and other set objectives.
Speaking at the event, Tambuwal said the state government’s investment in education, health, child protection, water management, sanitation and hygiene have played important role in effecting desired change in the state.
“Our past collaborations have impacted positively on target beneficiaries, and it is our hope that going forward, we can deepen access to quality healthcare delivery, access to clean water, nutrition and sanitation especially in the rural areas,” he added.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said it is obligatory to take care of the health needs of the citizens, “as such, this programme is a reminder and support for our religious teachers.”
He called on Nigerians to be their brothers’ keepers and pray for a better society. He also called on religious and traditional rulers to judiciously utilise the engagement to better their lives.
On his part, the chairman of the Sokoto State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Ahmadu Mamman, said Christian community in the state will continue to support such initiatives for the well-being of the citizens.
UNICEF Nigeria’s Deputy Country Representative, Pamella Ironside, said her organisation is fully committed to supporting the advocacy campaign.
“We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the governm ent and other stakeholders to ensure rapid development of the life of women andchildren in Nigeria,” she stated.
She added that UNICEF fully appreciates the commitment of the Sokoto State government in routine immunisation, education, and other related sectors.