Sola Ojo, Kaduna, Paul Osuyi and Ben Dunno, Asaba
After several attempts by civil society organisations working around health in Kaduna State, to press for six months maternity leave for female civil servants, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on the day he was inaugurated for a second term, announced the decision of his administration to make it a reality.
El-Rufai, who stated this during his inaugural speech at Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, yesterday, said the decision was to promote mother-child care and reduce maternal and newborn mortality in the state.
“In the health sector, the focus on strengthening and expanding primary care will continue.
“It is the best way to reduce maternal and infant mortality and bring basic care closer to the people.
“Our commitment to universal health coverage will continue.
“Therefore, we shall accelerate the implementation of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme as a priority programme.
“We will complete the supply chain transformation programme in the health sector that has improved the availability and reduced prices of drugs in our health facilities, we will also emphasise routine immunisation to reduce the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases on our children.
“I am pleased to announce that, just yesterday (Tuesday), our State Executive Council approved six months maternity leave for our female public servants.
“This encourages the healthy development of infants through prolonged breastfeeding, among other benefits. Mothers in our state are also reminded that children up to the age of five get free, regular medical check-ups in public hospitals. Please take advantage of this,” he said.
Meanwhile, Delta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned land speculators and anti-development agents, particularly in Warri and Effurun areas of the state to desist from such act or be ready to face his wrath in the next four years.
Okowa said those who hinder development, in the name of collecting illegal levies, also known as ‘deve’ should be ready to face the consequences of their action, and noted that access to land aids speedy development.,
The governor handed the warning in Asaba shortly after he was administered the oath of office, for a second term, alongside his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro by the Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro.
He said his administration will consolidate, strengthen and upscale the wealth creation agenda which is targeted at liberating the spirit of enterprise in the people through skill acquisition to create employment opportunities.
To this end, the governor said the establishment of 19 new technical colleges is top priority in his administration’s agenda in the next four years.