“I told you a while ago that the situation was really bad. The immediate speaker and those that matter undertook that visit to Lagos where they had the first interactive session with CS-SUNN on the issues of nutrition and since then it has become a point of duty in the house to ensure that we have adequate budgetary provision within the limits of the provision of the budget for nutrition. And that has steadily increased progressively from 2017 till today”. These were the words of Hon. Wuse in an interview session with CS-SUNN. Read details of the interview as the Niger State Assembly Speaker highlights strides that have improved the Niger state nutrition situation.
Question: Could you tell me your full names and designation?
Response: “My name is Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly”.
Question: How have the strategies of CS-SUNN stimulated policy making and adoption of the National Policy on Food and Nutrition and National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition in your state?
Response: “Before I answer in the affirmative, which definitely is the ultimate answer, let me say, generally the nutritional situation in the state before CS-SUNN came in was quite bad. I think this is what has informed the need for the office of the speaker (sic)… because I was told that my predecessor, took it personal to travel to Lagos on the first advocacy visit by CS-SUNN.
I think that even without the knowledge of that, I looked at the concept and I felt it was an important issue to the growth and development of every society. I think that no society will like to have a stunted growth. You know one of the issues associated with malnutrition is stunted growth. And you apply it generally to the nation you will see that even on that concept alone, it will be wrong for us to envisage stunted growth. And I think that will generally affect the growth and development of the country. I felt that I should personally attend, to see how far, to give an assessment of the situation and last year when I attended CS-SUNN advocacy visit in Abuja, it gave me an insight to the fact that from 2015 to 2017 and from 2017 to 2019 last year, the malnutrition situation in Niger state had improved and that gives you an insight to the fact that CS-SUNN has done a lot to ensure that there is an improved nutrition situation in Niger State and we are indeed grateful to CS-SUNN for this.
While declaring this one open, you know for me I had a lot challenges at home, the budget issues but I decided that this is worth coming giving the importance, given that CS-SUNN has been doing a lot not in Niger alone but in Nigeria”.
Question: What progress has your state made through the creation of nutrition budget lines between 2015and 1017, what is the ‘before and after’ story?
Response: “I told you a while ago that the situation was really bad. I wasn’t there in 2015-2017 but from the information available to me, that was why my predecessor, the immediate speaker and those that matter undertook that visit to Lagos where they had the first interactive session with CS-SUNN on the issues of nutrition and since then it has become a point of duty in the house to ensure that we have adequate budgetary provision within the limits of the provision of the budget for nutrition. And that has steadily increased progressively from 2017 till today”.
Question: Going forward, where else do you feel your state will require the partnership of CS-SUNN to be able to achieve the global nutrition goals?
Response: “The major issue is continuous advocacy. Like I said looking at ways of expanding the targeted audience. Yes! Members of the state assembly, members of the state executive council but gradually there should be an expansion to other key stakeholders so that it will really go down to the society generally. It’s not all about budgetary provision alone, it’s not all about budgetary release alone, it’s not even all about these issues, but it is all about reaching down to the grassroots where we are supposed to have the outcome and feel the impact of what we are doing. If at all we don’t do advocacy visits down there, then we might not really hit the target of what we want to achieve. But honestly CS-SUNN has done a lot given the success achieved so far. On where we have reached and where we are coming from, we must give commendation to CS-SUNN”.