Country Director, Pathfinder International, Dr Faroouk Jega says Nigeria’s family planning (FP) commodity budgetary situation is very precarious and urged increased advocacy from all stakeholders to correct the problem.
Dr Jega spoke at the opening of a three day capacity building workshop on documentation for advocacy working groups in Kaduna, Lagos and Oyo states in Abuja.
Jega stated that there is a problem with the family planning budget at the national level and it should be of concern to all stakeholders in family planning.
He said, “we should all be concerned with what is happening because if we do not have those family planning commodities, a lot of the work that we do at the subnational level will come to nought.
“A sub-sect of the family planning budget that was completely removed from the budget line is worth 11 million dollars. This is a shortfall. It is true that we have a problem with the FP budget and that is what we are working on to get right.”
Pathfinder International’s senior programme advisor, Reproductive Health, Abuja, Dr Sekinat Amin-Bello, said that equipping the advocacy working groups with the skills to sustain their work was important for the overall sustenance the project year-end and the good of Nigerian women and children.
According to her, “we have done everything possible for them to ensure that they are sustained beyond the project.”
“The aim of the whole project is actually to ensure that there is funding and enabling policy environment for family planning. So, I see every woman in Nigeria, gaining from this.
“This will help support a reduction in the number of women that die from childbirth, prevent unwanted pregnancy, keep families safe and happy and much more.”
The training’s lead facilitator, Mr Odoh Diego-Okenyodo said it is expected that in the coming years, the groups will be more visible in documenting their activities and putting it out for the public to know about what they are doing and also through this get more donor support.
Somto Atuanya, Pathfinder International’s communication and media officer stated that the training was to ensure the participants from each family planning advocacy working group learn how best to document their achievements and success and write appropriate advocacy briefs for their work.