From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has declared its readiness to empower 260 multiple birth mothers across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State with a sum of N24 million.
The First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, however, advocated for robust family planning practice to reduce maternal and child mortality rate.
Erelu Fayemi spoke on Monday in Ado-Ekiti during the commencement of the first phase of disbursement of cash and food items to mothers of multiple babies in the State.
The programme was organised by the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with the office of the First lady of Ekiti State.
Mrs Fayemi said the programme being executed under the “Multiple Birth Trust Fund”, was part of the policies the Fayemi administration launched in 2011 to alleviate poverty and combat child mortality in Ekiti.
‘I appeal to the multiple birth mothers to run away from the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practice. The government has empowered practitioners who are ready to leave the job in exchange for a more legal and dignifying means of livelihoods,’ Mrs Fayemi said.
‘It is regrettable that Ekiti State was ranked third among the 36 states of the federation in FGM, so I urge you to use your platforms and influences to help in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation.’
While congratulating the beneficiaries, Mrs Fayemi also announced that ‘many programmes aimed at making lives more bearable for the nursing mothers will soon be rolled out by this government. We are determined to make life better for you.’
In her address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Maryam Ogunlade, said the programme is part of the activities of the Fayemi adminstration targeted at alleviating the plights and hardship of many families.
The Commissioner represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Eunice Oladimeji, said the multiple mothers who are 260 in numbers spread across the state will be empowered with N24 million, which would be distributed in batches.
She admonished the mothers to always take good care of their children, especially during this time of the outbreak of COVID-19, advising them to take the precautionary measures to ensure that a quick end is brought to the spread of the pandemic.
The Commissioner urged them to make judicious use of the money and other items distributed, noting that the money was aimed at empowering them to be self reliant with a view to mitigate most of the challenges being faced by mothers of these multiple children.