Fashola Signs 2008 PIA Agreement With UNICEF, Promises To Combat Child Mortality
May 30, 2008 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Friday signed the 2008 Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA) with UNICEF and restated that the State would arrest the incidence of child and maternal mortality.
Governor Fashola who spoke at his Alausa Oval office while signing the 2008 PIA agreement with UNICEF added that the state government intends to achieve this through an evolvement of specialized maternal and child care centres which cater for the mother and child from conception to delivery and through the critical age periods.
The Governor added that contracts for five of the child care centres located in Ifako Ijaiye, Ikorodu, Surulere, Ajeromi- Ifelodun and Shomolu have been awarded and are in various stages of completion.
He added that in recognition of the fact that water improves life and survival opportunities not only among children but adults, the state will provide 15 micro water works this year with each having a two million gallons of water capacity.
Governor Fashola said the State passed the Child Rights Law because of its belief that children deserves the right not to be abused, not be child labourers and have the right to be protected by the State and those entrusted to look after them.
He explained that the State has made very remarkable progress in the area of polio eradication and will also step up its successes in terms of other child diseases like diphtheria, whopping cough, diarrhea and cholera.
He commended the energy and commitment of UNICEF to transforming children and young person challenges into opportunities for prosperity and success.
Governor Fashola emphasized that the signing of the PIA is a further demonstration of the commitment to do what is safe for the Nigerian child at all times.
He explained that the State Government views the issue of child survival from the wider perspective of ensuring that jobs are provided for heads of families as the State Government believes that a child in a jobless family is an endangered child who may end up becoming a child labourer supporting the family.
Said he: “We are consciously trying to grow opportunities and these have informed the size of the budget for 2008 and some of the major projects the State is embarking upon which are serving as major avenues to engage the parents and earn a living.
Continuing, Governor Fashola said “with the employment opportunities to parents and guardians, we are improving the chances of survival of the children”
He assured of the commitment of the State to embrace the component of the initiative and implement the terms of the agreement.
Governor Fashola informed that he has already released the counterpart funds for the agreement and given an approval for the efficient running of the programme.
Earlier, the Assistant Representative of UNICEF and Chief of Lagos office, Mr. Karim Akadiri said the goal of the 2008 PIA programme is to promote a recognition and realization of all rights of the Nigerian child and women.
He added that the 2008 programme also intends to ensure the commitment of civil society and government to ensure that all children have the best prospects for survival, growth, development, protection and participation.
Mr. Akadiri commended the efforts of the Lagos State Government in the full implementation of some of the issues raised in the 2007 PIA agreement such as the passage of the child rights law and the formation of boards of schools management committees to ensure that children are not seen on the roads during school hours and reduce truancy.