Posted By: Our Reporter
The Ekiti State Government announced has increased the maternity leave for its workers – from 12 weeks to 16 weeks.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Kola Ajumobi, spoke yesterday at a public enlightenment forum in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
He said the gesture was approved by Governor Ayodele Fayose for his special regard for women.
The permanent secretary said it was also aimed at encouraging exclusive breast feeding for newly born children in the first six months of birth.
Ajumobi said the leave extension would promote good nutrition for mothers and their new born children.
The permanent secretary said nursing mothers would also get two hours daily, besides the four months, for six months, from the date they resume duty from maternity leave.
According to him, the commitment of the Fayose-led administration to the reduction in mothers’ and children’s mortality and morbidity rate to the barest minimum remained sacrosanct.
Ajumobi said the crèche at the state secretariat had also been invigorated to boost bonding between mothers and their children during official working hours without undue hindrance to performance and efficiency at the workplace.
The permanent secretary regretted that lack of good nutrition, poverty, hunger as well as lack of access to economic and political empowerment contributed to high maternal and child mortality rates.
He said the present administration would continue to roll out palliative packages for women to empower and guard them from avoidable travails.
Ajumobi said such existing measures include the provision of N500 million as revolving soft-loan to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for women.
Women farmers were being supported with various incentives, he said.
According to him, the state government has also encouraged women’s access to political power.
Harmful traditional practices to woman’s nutritional and sexual reproductive health, such as widowhood rites and inheritance, had become criminal offences in the state, he said.
Ajumobi said rapists and wife beaters will henceforth face life sentences, on conviction.