House Demands Urgent Attention for 400,000 Malnourished Children in North-east

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Wants special intervention fund for textile industry
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday called for urgent humanitarian action to save the over 400,000 malnourished and starving children who are at risk of death in the North-east.

It therefore called on the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE) to take urgent action.
A recent report of the United Nations, released in November 2016, raised alarm that 75,000 children in the region may die of malnutrition and starvation unless urgent humanitarian aid is provided.

Hon. Aisha Dukku (Gombe APC) in a motion of urgent public importance noted that the children are part of seven million, in need of humanitarian assistance in the region that has been ravaged by over six years of insurgency.

“Concerned that 400,000 out the seven million in need of humanitarian assistance are children, with 75,000 in critical condition, arising from grossly inadequate funding for humanitarian aid, especially food supply needs which the UN puts at $5.1 million,” she added.

Dukku also expressed concern that only about 4.7 million persons are targeted for aid in 2016 out of the 14.8 million people affected by Boko Haram activities in the region.
“5.5 million persons need protection, safe and secure environment while over one million children are in need of access to education,…there is a sharp rise in the figure when compared with the figure that the UNICEF gave few months ago,” she added.

The lawmakers, following the adoption of another motion, called for the revival of textile industries in Kaduna and Kano states through an inclusion of special Intervention funds in the 2017 budget.

The motion sponsored by Hon. Sunday Marshal (Kaduna APC) and 40 others including the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, also urged the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to increase surveillance of the nation’s borders to check the activities of smugglers, and ensure collections of the right tariff for imported textile.
Marshal said the current trend of importing almost 80 percent of textile is not helping Nigerians in terms of employment, job creation and foreign exchange.

“Despite the introduction of an industrial revolution plan aimed at revamping and fastracking the growth and development of the cotton, textile and garment sector, and addressing the various problems facing it, it is obvious that at the moment, one of the most daunting challenges staring the sector on the face is the influx of foreign textile into the country,” he said.

“Today, though there are local textile companies trying to raise their voice with the various designs and fabrics in the Nigerian market, we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that there is still a wide gap that needs to be filled in the Nigeria textile industry,” the lawmaker added.