By Ishaq Zaki
No fewer than 18,908 nursing mothers benefitted from the Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP) cash transfer project of the British Department for International Development (DFID) in Zamfara.
Hajiya Fatima Musa, the Behavioural Change and Communication Officer of the programme in the state, disclosed this in Gusau on Friday at a Bi-Monthly Media and Civil Society meeting on mobilisation of citizens participating in social protection programme in the state.
The meeting was organised by Save the Children International, an NGO implementing the programme in the state.
The CDGP is executing a six-year DFID-funded pilot programme in Zamfara and Jigawa states, offering N4000 monthly assistance to each beneficiary of either pregnant woman or nursing mother to support child growth, development and survival.
Musa said from inception of the programme in 2013 to date, a total of 18,908 women benefitted from it in two pilot local government areas of Anka, 8,479, and 10,429 in Tsafe.
She explained that “some of the women were, however, exited from the programme due to miscarriage, still birth and fraud.
“A total of 45,884 beneficiaries registered across over 80 communities in the two local government areas within the period under review, now we have remaining 26,976 beneficiaries on our payroll.”
She further disclosed that the programme had closed registration of new beneficiaries in April 2018 as the programme would terminate in April 2019.
The Chairman of the Zamfara Social Protection Platform (ZSPP), an NGO, Malam Nasiru Biabiki, described the CDGP as a welcome development to the state.
He said “we consider this as great achievement, considering its impact in improving socio economic activities of our people, as it is in line with activities of social protection policy.
“We are working with Save the Children in advocating for the adoption of Federal Government’s Social Protection Policy by state government.
“ZSPP is a platform which comprised representatives from media and civil society organisations working to enlighten the public, especially stakeholders and policy makers about the importance of social protection policy.”
Team Leader of the programme in the state, Mr Muhammad Tanko, said over N2 billion had been spent by DFID to fund the programme during the period under review.
Tanko commended the support and cooperation given to the programme by the media and Civil Society Organizations in the state.
He, however, added that “our major challenge was insecurity affecting the state, making it difficult for us to access some participating communities.”