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Insurgency increasing child poverty indices in North East, says Commissioner

Insurgency increasing child poverty indices in North East, says Commissioner


By Hajara Leman


Gombe State Government says insurgency and the influx of people from the country’s conflict areas, are contributing to the rising levels of child poverty in the North East.


Alh.Salihu Baba-Alkali, the Commissioner, Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning, stated this at the opening ceremony of a two-day media dialogue on addressing Child poverty in Gombe, Adamawa and Bauchi states, organised by UNICEF.


Baba-Alkali said the poor indices were further increased by the insurgency and the influx of people from conflict areas into the region’s borders, which according to him has affected the success earlier recorded.


He said in spite of the huge potential in the region, “we have been contending with poor human development indicators in virtually all areas.”


Baba-Alkali commended UNICEF for organising the media dialogue, which he described as timely.


The Commissioner urged the media and organisers to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to tackle the menace of poverty, as well as reduce the indices of child poverty in the region.


“I urge all of you to deliberate frankly and ensure that the objectives for which this dialogue was designed will translate to matching results,” he said.


Speaking, Mr Opeyemi Olagunju, the Communication Officer, UNICEF Field Office, Bauchi, said the objective of the workshop was to stir journalists to insist on issues that affected children and women.


Olagunju said the meeting was also expected to expose participants to how child poverty had become a major threat to children’s well being and future.


He noted that the meeting was also to deliberate on how child poverty adversely impacted national development and what approaches government and stakeholders could employ to address the issue, particularly in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.


He also noted that child poverty remained a threat to regional and national development, adding that addressing the issue would ensure a brighter future for children in the country.


According to him, poverty is not only measured by income levels, but encompasses various dimensions such as access to education, healthcare, sanitation, nutrition, and overall well being, which most children lack.


No fewer than 60 journalists, drawn from Gombe, Adamawa and Bauchi states, are participating in the dialogue.

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