Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has engaged the services of 17,000 village heads to assist the state government in combating insecurity as well as mobilise to their subjects to immunise their children against child killer diseases.
This was disclosed to newsmen in Kaduna on Wednesday by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prof. Kabir Mato, who stated that each of the village heads would be paid a monthly stipend of N10,000.
The commissioner said the strategic position of village heads makes them invaluable in government’s quest to effectively cover the entire state with immunisation and providing prompt information on security issues.
His words, “The village and ward heads are such valuable partners in increasing immunisation coverage and improving record keeping at the grassroots. They can mobilise communities to participate in immunisation and registration of births and deaths. In addition, they constitute a veritable front line of security information that can assist efforts towards providing early warning, thwart threats and enhance peace and harmony in our communities.
“For these roles, the state government has decided to pay a monthly allowance to 17,000 wards heads. This allowance represents a token of appreciation for their roles in complimenting formal government efforts towards delivery of public goods in the health and security sectors. This move also marks a major landmark in the restructuring of this traditional institution in the state, to perform defined roles and deploy its relevance in modern governance,” he said.
The commissioner said since 2015, “considerable steps have been taken to expand immunisation across the state, to give more children what they need to avoid vaccines against preventable diseases.”
Mato added that the government, with the support of its partners, is “steadily institutionalising routine immunisation as a widespread, accessible and primary framework. The success of these health protection initiatives for our children at the grassroots depends in the active involvement of village and ward heads. These layers of traditional rulership know the residents of their communities, including infants and other vulnerable persons,” he said.