Ogun State House of Assembly has passed a resolution directing the State Government to support the exclusive breastfeeding initiative in the health sector by extending the period of maternity leave for nursing mothers in the State public service from the existing 84 working days to 176 working days (six months).
The passage of the resolution at today’s plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff and seconded by the Minority Leader, Lukman Adeleye who is also the sponsor of the Resolution.
Opening debate on the resolution, Hon. Adeleye stated that the proposed extension for the exclusive breastfeeding as being practiced in other South Western States was targeted at nurturing healthy children with strong immunity and high level intelligent quotient.
According to the Minority Leader, the resolution would assist in recognising the crucial role of exclusive breastfeeding in the overall health well-being of infants and nursing mothers; stating that there was the need for an extension of period of maternity leave to enable nursing mothers breastfeed their babies effectively.
This the sponsor noted, would create an avenue for acknowledging the existing national policy that supports exclusive breastfeeding in both formal and informal work environments, pointing out the fact that most states in the South West already enjoyed six-month maternity leave, and that the State should be part of the laudable initiative.
Hon. Adeleye therefore appreciated the efforts of stakeholders in the Health Sector in championing the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding in line with the focus of the 2023 Breastfeeding Week, themed: “Enabling Breastfeeding, Making a Difference For Working Parents”.
He called on government and all stakeholders to take decisive actions to ensure supportive breastfeeding environments, urging employers of labour to prioritize breastfeeding-friendly facilities for nursing mothers and babies.
Corroborating the sponsor’s view, other lawmakers including Honourables Damilola Soneye, Oluseun Adesanya, Adegoke Adeyanju and Waliu Owode, commended the sponsor of the proposed resolution, explaining that it was a right initiative that would aid the overall health well-being of babies and sustained the healthy living of the nursing mothers.
In their contributions, Deputy Speaker Bolanle Ajayi, as well as Honourables Babatunde Tella, Bisi Oyedele, Yusuf Amosun and Sherif Yusuf, submitted that the implementation of the resolution would foster effective bonding between the nursing mothers and their children.
They added that it would also contribute to healthy growth that would in turn have a significant development in the overall development and well-being of the babies.
Earlier at the Plenary, the Assembly acknowledged a correspondence from the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, requesting the Assembly’s approval for the 2024-2026 State Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to allow the State begin preparation on the 2024 State Budget.
According to the Speaker, the Governor’s letter dated 29th August, 2023 partly reads:” in reference to relevant sections of the Ogun State Fiscal Responsibility Law, 2020 (as amended) we have prepared the 2024 2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (i.e. 2024-2026 MTEF) for the State’
“Consequent on the above, I therefore seek your consideration and approval of the attached 2024 2026 State Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), so that the process of Planning and Budgeting for year 2024 and the outer years of 2025 and 2026 can commence in earnest”, the letter concludes.
In similar vein, the Assembly also adopted the harmonised standing order/ rules of procedure for the Nigerian Legislature shortly after a few amendments through a motion moved by the Majority Leader Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by the Minority Leader Lukman Adeleye and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.