Health ministry seeks special fund for campaign against female genital mutilation

By The Citizen

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan considered  a request from the  Federal Ministry of Health, for a special fund from the proceeds of SURE-P and Debt Relief Fund to tackle the menace of female genital mutilation in the country.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, told State House correspondent at the end of the meeting which lasted exactly one hour on Wednesday, that the request was contained in a memorandum presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.

''The Ministry of Health brought a report of his Council which held in Lagos, last year and that report urged stakeholders, particularly to increase the campaign against female genital mutilation, which is a national campaign.

“What the Federal Ministry of Health said today, is that this scourge is still with us and they are urging for greater funding for the programme, particularly from special funds like the SURE-P and the Debt Relief Fund that is available.

“We believe that it is important that our female children are treated decently and in this campaign definitely we get additional support from stakeholders. But, it was an issue that was brought to Council which shows that we still have a lot of work to do in that area.”

Maku also said that Council was informed that Nigeria would be hosting one of the five regional offices of UNESCO in Africa and that the decision to locate the regional office in Abuja was informed by the country's proactive participation in UNESCO's activities.

The Minister stated that the Council also noted with delight the positive report from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the Credit extended to Agro-Suppliers.

According to him, the Agro-Suppliers have been supplying fertilizers and farm input to farmers following the complete stoppage of Federal Government policy of fertilizer Racketeering in the name of contract awards.

“The report we received today is that over these periods since 2012, there has been a lot of good transactions. In 2012 for example, fertilizer worth N16 billion was supplied to farmers. No default from any of the banks. All the suppliers are paying back their loans because these fertilizers are reaching farmers and farmers are also paying for the inputs they get. So, the system is working”, Maku sai.

The Minister said the Council enjoined the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to deepen the reforms in the agricultural sector