The Chief of the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) Kano Field Office (KFO) who oversees Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Mr. Rahma Farah, stated that in Jigawa State, over 70 percent of the children were multidimensionally poor. This statement was duly affirmed at the launching of the state’s 2022 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) on December 1, 2022, in Dutse. The MICS survey was conducted in 2021 and had its results released in August 2022.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a household survey which was developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the provision internationally comparable, statistically rigorous data on children and women’s situation and is being implemented by countries under UNICEF program. According to Farah, Nigerian children face serious multidimensional deprivations with almost all the states in the Northwest of Nigeria recording higher rates of poverty than the national average. There is a prediction of about 65 percent of children in the Northwest who are multidimensionally poor.
From 2011-2021, Jigawa had the highest under 5 mortality rate.
Of the three states – Kano, Katsina and Jigawa – among the Kano Field Office (KFO), Jigawa had the highest child deprivation rate with 73.9 percent of children in the state recorded as being multidimensionally poor. The Chief of UNICEF Kano Field Office further asserted that the high deprivation rate reveals that the rights of children in the state are left unfulfilled. A long list of children in Jigawa are denied their basic rights for protection, survival and development.
Furthermore, the 2021 MICS result for Jigawa State reported another indicator, in terms of health, which reflects the state as below the national averages. This indicator is the under-five mortality rate under which Jigawa State had the highest under-five mortality, from 2011-2021, in comparison to Kano and Katsina; the indicator therefore reported 70 points above the national average. However, Farah stated that there has been a reduction in the under-five mortality by 37 percent; a progress which requires continuity and sustenance.
Farah calls on community leaders for innovative strategies.
In addition, MICS report for 2021, in the aspects of immunization indicates that the Penta III coverage has experienced significant improvement in the state. Regardless, in terms of education, over 40 percent of primary school children are out of school. The MICS 2021 has nonetheless included a new foundational learning module that enables the measurement of the level of foundational numeracy and literacy skills of children aged 7 to 12. This indicator reveals that the learning achievement situation in the state was declining.
Mr. Farah, due to the report of the MICS urged community leaders, politicians, international sectors, policy makers, civil society organizations and state parliamentarians in every sector to devote efforts and innovative strategies for improvement of the present human development condition in Jigawa State. These strategies are mainly for improvement of the wellbeing of women and children who appear to be most vulnerable. The MICS Data for the state raised concerns at the meeting, which are likely to be addressed.
MICS Data would help Jigawa address challenges.
Farah claims that Jigawa, being the second provider of potable drinking water in the country, is trying its best to ensure that there is an improvement in the aspect of education, health and other sectors. It was also affirmed that the governor of the state, His Excellency Muhammed Badaru Abubakar, is expected to organize a committee to figure out reasons for the negative outcomes together with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Despite the state’s curiosity to find out why there are negative outcomes, it is believed that the surveys will help them re-strategize to address their challenges.