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Ministry of health, women affairs collaborate on women, children welfare



The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, says the ministry will collaborate with Ministry of Women Affairs on the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerian women and children.

Pate said this during a meeting with the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye in Abuja.

During the meeting, Pate said that the issues of women and children were very important and that collaborating to promote their wellbeing and welfare would boost the nation’s development.

He explained that the ministry was working toward ensuring that women and children got the best healthcare.

He added that the life course perspective to the welfare issue starts from the adolescent who needed to be educated, empowered, protected and nourished to be a good mother.

Pate said that babies too progressed toward early childhood to educational system and then to secondary education up to adulthood.

“They go on to be responsible youths, healthy, strong and transit into gainful employment to be productive members of society as they grow further, even when they are elderly to ensure that they have aged well.”

The minister also said that his ministry was in line with that of women affairs on the issue of zero tolerance to maltreatment of children.

He also said that resources meant for the development of the nation have to be judiciously used for the said purpose.

“In the application of development resources, whether domestic financing or external financing, we are in complete agreement.

“That all resources to this country whether they are tax revenue, grant resources or the development finance loans from multilateral institutions or banks, must be used effectively, efficiently and get to the intended beneficiaries.

Earlier, Kennedy-Ohanenye said that the implementation of loans and grants gotten from international organisations and development partners should be restructured so that they would be used for the intended purposes.

According to her, many loans intended for women end up being used for consultancy, meetings and advocacies.

She added that “there is a loan called Nigeria for Women Project, the last one was 100 million dollars and that money was used for advocacy, meetings, travels, rents and nothing was done for the women the loan was made for.

“The same goes for so many other loans, especially the World Bank loans, there are a lot of donations that if you calculate, every Nigerian should get N20 million out of which should change their lives.

“However, it was misappropriated, mismanaged and entered into some pockets, so some of these things are the reasons we are not forging ahead.

“Sometimes, the Federal Government is not aware of some of these things and some of the people in charge of these things spend them on consultancy and advocacies.”

She said that she discussed with President Bola Tinubu that the only way out was to cut off consultancy, advocacies from borrowed money or donated funds.

“If you want to pay money into Nigeria and you write that it will be for consultancy and advocacies, you return that money because that money is useless.

“It is borrowed money and yet nothing is improving and things are getting worse”

Kennedy-Ohanenye said that to checkmate it, a letter was written to the President to restructure the way the loans were administered.

Folasade Akpan

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