Returning governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i, on Wednesday announced the extension of maternity leave for working class mothers in the state from three months to six months to promote exclusive breastfeeding, considered crucial to children’s healthy growth and development.
He also said that in trying to improve the livelihood of the people, his administration would consider the interests of the populace first and leave no one behind.
El-Rufa’i, who made the pledges in his inaugural speech shortly after he was sworn-in as the governor of Kaduna State for the second time, added that his administration would in the next four years work toward putting smiles on people’s faces.
He said that the effective way to fight poverty was to ensure financial independence among the people, adding that his government would continue to attract foreign investments and improve the business climate in the state.
According to him, the goal is to provide job opportunities for the people and improve revenue generation for the state to execute people-oriented projects that will impact on the people.
“My administration will continue to put people first by providing access to quality services in education, health, and other basic social services to ensure that our people live quality lives.
“We will continue to strengthen primary healthcare services, provide drugs and routine immunisation, as well as provide free healthcare services to five-year-old children in all our hospitals.”
He also announced the extension of maternity leave for working class mothers in the state from three months to six months, explaining that the move was to ensure that children were adequately cared for, well-fed and received all the nutrients they would need within the first six months of their lives.
El-Rufa’i said that the aforementioned steps would help reduce the prevalence rate of malnutrition among children in the state under the age of five years.
The governor noted the protracted security challenges affecting the state, but said that huge resources were being spent to strengthen internal security.
“These resources ought to have been invested in uplifting the standard of living of the people.
“Therefore, it is time we put our differences aside and work together to promote unity in our diversity, to improve the lives and security of everyone in Kaduna State.
“We must work together for the urgent need of human progress,” he said.
El-Rufa’i expressed appreciation to the immediate past members of the state’s executive council for their support in the past four years, which, he said, helped to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
He called on the people of the state to give his administration the needed support for the next four years to move the area to greater heights.
El-Rufa’i was sworn-in along with Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as deputy governor, the first woman to be democratically elected in the state.
Balarabe joins Dame Paulen Tallen (Plateau), former Minister of State for Science and Technology in former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet, and Mrs. Aisha Pamela Sadauki (Kaduna – 1990 to 1992) as the first three Northern Nigerian women that have been deputy governor.