The Secretaries to State Governments controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) held a virtual meeting under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The theme for the virtual meeting is ‘Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Maternal & Child Nutrition Promotion in APC States’. The overarching objective was to consider and approve the implementation framework for promotion of maternal and child nutrition in APC States.
The Co-Chairmen of PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee, His Excellency Simon Bako Lalong, Governor of Plateau State, declared the meeting open, while His Excellency Mohammed Abubakar Badaru, Governor of Jigawa State, declared the meeting closed.
The meeting followed a series of other sessions with the Commissioners of Health, Agriculture and Education where the framework was discussed extensively. Accordingly, the meeting reviewed the current status of child and maternal nutrition in APC states and considered the PGF Secretariat’s Proposal on the implementation of the Framework.
2. Highlights of Presentations
Following the Co-Chairman’s opening address, His Excellency Simon Bako Lalong, participants considered the Implementation Framework presented by the PGF Secretariat. The Framework was based on the assessment of the following:• Status Report & General discussions on Maternal and Child Nutrition in APC States; and• Communication Template for Promotion of Maternal and Child Nutrition in APC States.
At the end of the meeting, the following resolutions were reached:I. Given the import of nutrition to addressing the problems of stunting and wasting in children, the meeting agreedthat APC controlled states commit themselves to promoting essential nutrient fortified foods and supplements for children under the ages of 5 and nursing mothers;II. Considering the importance of robust public engagement in the implementation of the Framework for Maternal and Child Nutrition, APC States undertake to design effective communication strategies to raise public awareness and transform public attitudes towards issues related to malnutrition and its effects on the Child and nursing mothers;III. Because of the significant role parental support play in the lives of children and the need to enhance the health of nursing mothers, APC States are committed to implementing the recommendation to prioritise granting 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for nursing mothers in the APC States;IV. APC State Governments are also committed to encouraging and supporting women to practice six months of exclusive breastfeeding of children from birth;andV. Given the strong linkages between national security and food security, the APC States should adopt sustainable strategies and other initiatives for strengthening food production and food security, as part of their development programmes.
4. Appreciation and Conclusion
The meeting expressed profound appreciation to the PGF Secretariat for the excellent organisation of the virtual meeting. It commended the PGF Secretariat for promoting synergy, greater cooperation and joint policy initiatives across the APC States geared towards sustainable development in the APC States and the country in general. The meeting agreed to continue sharing information, ideas and knowledge through its Quarterly Meetings.
Alhaji Adamu FaniniProf. Danladi Atu
SGS Jigawa StateSGS PlareauState
March 4, 2021