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Sokoto State Governor signs performance contracts to boost child survival in Nigeria

Sokoto, Nigeria, 24 June 2010 - The chairmen of all 23 local government areas in the State have now signed performance contracts that itemize measures they agree to take in 2010 to improve child and maternal survival and wellbeing.

The LGA chairmen will be held accountable for delivering on the contracts, which were derived from the State and local governments’ priorities and budget, and drafted with UNICEF support.

The first three performance contracts were signed in a ceremony on 23 June at Government House Sokoto, between the Chairmen of Wamakko, Ilela and Bodinga local government areas and the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.

The signature was witnessed by the UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, and UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Suomi Sakai.

The Governor and the LGA chairmen signed the 20 remaining contracts in the days following the ceremony.

Each contract requires LGA chairmen to ensure that:
•every child (0–11 months) is fully immunized;
•the LGA is polio free;
•every child 6–59 months has received vitamin A supplements;
•at least 50% of all pregnant women in the LGA visit the ante natal care clinic at least three times during their pregnancy;
•all pregnant women attending ante natal clinics and children under five years old sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets;
•three more health centers in the LGA have at least one borehole, one VIP latrine and a fixed hand washing facility;
•six more schools have at least one borehole, one VIP latrine and a fixed hand washing facility for boys and for girls.

The performance contracts—an innovation in Nigeria—are intended to increase the involvement of the chairmen in the delivery of measures to protect child and maternal survival.

The State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs will have overall responsibility for coordinating, monitoring and evaluating them.

The Ministry, along with the State ministries of Health and Budget and Economic Planning, will review their implementation every quarter.

At the signing ceremony, Sokoto State’s Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Mohammed Jabbi Kilgori, said that “Sokoto State fully supports this initiative because of our strong believe that it will help local governments in their work.

They are in an ideal position to engage with their communities to bring effective social and behaviour change that will make a positive difference in the lives of children and women in Sokoto State.” Five states in UNICEF Kaduna “C” Field Office’s zone have decided to take on the performance contract approach and it is expected that by the end of 2010 all eight states in the zone and the FCT will be on board.

The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Dr Suomi Sakai, congratulated Sokoto State “for taking the lead in this initiative.

It is a solution-oriented initiative that enhances the community’s moral obligation to support the most vulnerable, and if it is well implemented, it will strengthen child-friendly governance and boost institutions’ ability to make progress on the Millennium Development Goals.”

For more information, please contact:
Paula Fedeski, UNICEF Nigeria, Tel.+234 9 461 6402; email: pfedeski@unicef.org

 

 
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