By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Wednesday renewed his administration’s commitment to supporting vulnerable people in the state to realise their potentials in life.
el-Rufai made the commitment in Kaduna when he received UNFPA Resident Representative, Ulla Mueller, who was at the Government House for a joint programme to mark the International Women’s Day.
He explained that his administration believes that disabilities and other circumstances should not be hurdles to such persons in reaching their full potentials.
“We believe in giving equal opportunities to all and to do that, government needs to identify with those that are not able to assist themselves.
“The main purpose of government is to ensure that those who cannot help themselves are helped by the government to achieve their full potentials,” he stressed.
el-Rufai disclosed that 63 per cent of the state budget in the first four years of his administration was invested in education, healthcare and assisting the poorest and vulnerable persons.
“We have invested in primary healthcare, we have introduced contributory health Insurance to give a path way to universal health coverage and also the social protection policy,” he said.
He told the UNFPA officials that the government was in the process of establishing a social protection agency, to target the poorest and ensure that they did not go uncared.
He also expressed the belief that women deserve every support and encouragement for any society to be better.
According to him, women as the foundation of humanity, should be promoted in every way possible.
He thanked the UNFPA for its unique approach to reach out to women and other works that touched the lives of the people.
Earlier, Mueller said they chose to celebrate the day in Kaduna, because the state has 43 percent women in leadership positions.
“The 43 per cent I notice is more than what is obtained in most developed countries.
“My country has 29 per cent of female in cabinets despite the fact that we have female prime minister and 14 per cent women in leadership position.
She congratulated the governor for the feat, saying “when you focus on equality and when you are mindful, deliberate about the decisions you make, you steadily prosper.”
The UNFPA country representative pledged to work with Kaduna state government and find ways to support its efforts to drive sustainable development.
“While we are developing our 2021 programme we will be seeking advice from Kaduna state on how to best proceed,” she added.
“We all have an obligation to continue to commit to sustainable development, because that enshrines gender equality as one of it’s goals
“We will not be able to reach sustainable development without equality and the ability for women and girls to have their basic human rights, including their right to sexual productive health as a prerogative to achieve sustainable development goals.
“In 2021, no woman should die for a reason we can prevent,” Mueller stressed.
The UNFPA presented awards to Hajiya Saudatu Sani, Emmanuel Bonet and Maimuna Auwal-Safiyanu in recognition of their work on enhancing gender equality and equity.
Governor El-Rufai was also presented with an award in recognition of his sustained efforts to ensure gender equality and equity.