Child Survival: UNICEF Signs MoU with Sokoto Govt, Sultanate, Religious Leaders, NUJ

By Victor Osae IHIDERO
 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sokoto State Government, Sultanate, Religious leaders and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the State’s capital. ‎The MoU with Government, according to Muhammad Mohiuddin, UNICEF Sokoto Chief of Field Office, was aimed at focusing on policy issues that can improve on the overall school enrolment, retention and transition of pupils thereby reducing the number of out of school children in the state. ‎It is also targeted at leveraging of funds and effective partnership for children to address challenges in the health sector as well as issues of water and sanitation.On the agreement ‎with the Sultanate, and religious leaders, he added that it was aimed at enhancing traditional institutions and community engagement in favour of children issues.As for the NUJ, Mohiuddin explained that the MoU is focus on leveraging airtime and space to promote the rights of children with focus on survival and development.‎At a forum on high level Advocacy and Community Engagement (ACE) in Sokoto‎ where the MoU was signed, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu 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.”‎The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar in his remark stated: “It is obligatory to take care of the health needs of the citizens,” adding, “as such, this programme is a reminder and support for our religious teachers.”The monarch also used the avenue to preach peace and also called on religious and traditional rulers to judiciously utilise the engagement to better their lives.In his reaction, 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, Pernille Ironside, reassured the people of Sokoto state of the commitment of her organization toward improving their lives.According to her: “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the government and other stakeholders to ensure rapid development of the life of women and children in Nigeria.”

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