Senator Gyang Laments Nigeria’s Poor Progress in Achieving SDGs WASH Target
By Frank Ajufo
Senator Representing Plateau North in the 9th Senate, Senator Istiphanus Gyang has said the current members of the Senate have critically put in place, legislations that will address various challenges currently facing the Nigerian state.
Gyang revealed this while speaking with newsmen at the side-lines of a Two Day Strategic Retreat for NGOs, Young People and the Media, organized by the Africa Health Budget Network, AHBN, in collaboration with the Community Health Initiative, CHR.
He also noted that the National Assembly requires strategic partnership with Young Nigerians, the Non-Government Organisations and the Media to help strengthen governance in Nigeria.
The Senator Representing Jos North said that the Senate is mindful of the challenge of insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic which has not only affected the health sector but also threatening the Nigerian economy and is putting legislations that will strengthen all sectors of Nigeria.
He observed that the plans of the legislators can only succeed if the young people support the senate with their vibrant ideas through partnership with the media and NGOs.
“As a member of the 9th Senate, we have given attention to legislations that will address every sector of the nation. When we have strategic partners like particularly those that are active media influencers and the youth, you know that this is one group that is very conversant, is aware and takes the issues of our nation very critically.”
While applauding AHBN’s initiative of the retreat, he said the Senate is working towards ensuring provision of needed enabling environment for building the capacity of young people in the country.
“So I want to appreciate this platform you have provided to engage this our youth to be engaged and to become more aware; and to become not only involved but to become partners in nation building even at this level.
“I want our youth to know that you are the hope of our nation and we have to take responsibility to ensure that an enabling environment is provided, where our youth will undergo necessary capacity building in terms of their intellectual upbringing, in terms of their education and every other opportunities and possibilities that abound within our nation.”
Gyang, also spoke on the role of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene WASH, in making sure that Nigerians live a healthy, productive lives.
He however, regretted that health sector funding in Nigeria is lagging behind and pledged that the senate is committed to ensuring the allocation of more funds to the health sector.
“That area is still one aspect that we are still lagging behind, an example is the practice of open defecation that we still witness across the country because provision for sanitary infrastructure at the rural and urban areas is still not there; even households within urban centres not to speak of rural areas.
“This is one thing that deserves greater attention and that’s why we’ve been advocating that the budgetary provision for the health sector is something that has not yet met the minimum global requirement and that is one advocacy that we will continue as legislators and particularly myself.”
The Two-Day Retreat provided a platform for NGOs, Young People and the Media to brainstorm on the Nigerian Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, Adolescent and the Elderly Health + Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) COVID-19 Response Continuity (Recovery) Plan 2020-2022.