Kaduna State deputy governor, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balaraba, says there are 3.9 million poor people and over 1 million vulnerable households in 23 local government areas.
She spoke at the roundup of a 15-year-old poverty alleviation intervention programme in the state by the ActionAid Nigeria,
Balarabe who was the guest of honour at the close out ceremony of the project tagged: “Local Right Programme,” said the state government in demonstration of its commitment to social justice, promotion of equality of opportunities and protection of human rights of all citizens has sustained budgetary investments in the social sector.
Represented by the deputy chief of staff to the governor in her office, Barrister James Kanyip, the deputy governor commended ActionAid for the LRP project, saying that the interests of ActionAid Nigeria and its specific interventions were complementary to the priorities of the Kaduna State government, especially in the areas of economic and human capital development as clearly enunciated in the SUSTAIN programme of the current administration of Governor Uba Sani.
The deputy governor commended the tireless efforts of ActionAid Nigeria over the years in supporting vulnerable individuals and households, advocating for women’s rights, improving access to education and healthcare, and promoting sustainable agriculture, among other interventions in Kaduna State.
“Kaduna State government is committed to addressing issues of social justice, promoting equality of opportunities and protecting the human rights of all citizens of the state. In keeping with these commitments, the government has sustained budgetary investments in the social sector, leading to the expansion of healthcare access in underserved areas, and increased enrolment in primary and secondary schools, which are now free and compulsory in all our public schools.
“Kaduna State has equally created the social investment office to coordinate and implement social intervention programmes to support the vulnerable and poor populations of our dear state. These social interventions are delivered in the most scientific manner using the state social register which as of today has about 3.9 million vulnerable and poor persons and over 1 million vulnerable households from across the 255 wards of the State, the Deputy Governor said.
She however noted that, Kaduna State government believes in partnerships and collaborations towards achieving its development agenda and will we remain open and receptive to working hand-in-hand with organizations like ActionAid Nigeria to achieve its shared objectives.
Earlier, country director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi said before the commencement of the programme, Southern Kaduna, which was the operational zone of the LRP, faced numerous socioeconomic challenges ranging from; lack of basic social amenities, denial of education to the girl child, child labour, teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, wife inheritance and food insecurity.
Obi, who was represented by the programme director, Hajia Suweba Dankabo, said it was against the background of those negative vices that, LRP was brought to 23 southern Kaduna communities to create a tide of transformation, advocating for empowerment and fostering community driven initiatives to uplift the zone from despair to prosperity.
According to her, “The impact of the Local Rights Programme in Kaduna State is resounding and evident across all 23 communities where the programme was implemented. It has sparked behavioural shifts among individuals, communities, and government institutions. Women, who were previously denied opportunities in community governance and politics, are now empowered and have a more balanced distribution of power.