Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo has tasked the International community, particularly the United Nations system on active participatory roles to assist the country and Anambra State.
Governor Soludo was speaking when the United Nations delegation led by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Marthias Schmale, paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
According to the Governor, the visit is significant in the history of the state, as for many years, the United Nations was without an office in the South East, until his administration came on board.
Speaking on his administration’s huge and ambitious agenda for Anambra in the areas of security, law and order, economic transformation, human capital, governance, rule of law and value system and the environment, Professor Soludo emphasized that his government wants to benchmark with the rest of the world in transforming Anambra State into a liveable and prosperous homeland.
“More than half of the indigenous population of Anambra people lives outside the state and my administration will soon inaugurate the Anambra Education council, to further engender qualitative and accessible education, as well as establishing the Strategy Execution and Evaluation, ‘SEE’ Office,” he said.
In his response, Mr. Schmale said their visit was to familiarise with the South East and erase the perception that they are only interested in the North East.
He emphasized that though they may not be able to make input in terms of financial assistance, but could assist in areas of technical assistance
Afterwards at the government house, Awka, when he held an interaction with CSOs, Youth leaders and women group on ways they can be of assistance to Anambra state, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, called on the Federal and other subnational governments to use vocational training to combat insecurity and other vices.
He pledged to continue to push the government to channel investments into the education sector and stressed that ideally, ten percent of the income of any government should be invested on education.
While speaking on the upcoming World Education Summit in Nigeria and promising to figure out a sub-strategy for the South East, Mr. Schmale also called attention to quality of education in the country, the level of insecurity, justice system, combating hate speech and intolerance on the social media, among other issues.
Receiving the delegation, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi who drew their attention to issues of flooding and erosion, internally displaced persons in the riverine areas, called for assistance from the United Nations.
While pointing out that Anambra runs a transparent government, Mr. Ezeajughi acknowledged the efforts they made in the truth justice and peace committee set up by the present administration, stating that the delegation’s visit is quite reassuring in the journey to building a liveable, prosperous, smart megacity.
The Commissioner for Social Development, Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, asked for support on how to save Anambra Children from rape and all kinds of abuse, stressing that sensitisation, encouragement in the education sector and family support are key factors that can be of immense help to the state.
Contributing, the Chairman of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, Prof. Phil Eze explained that Anambra state is presently at cross roads and noted that though the UN-Anambra partnership has been ongoing for the past ten years, intervention have been ongoing in thirteen erosion sites, out of which eight have been completed, while intervention have been terminated in five sites, saying that problem is beyond what the state resources can handle.
He emphasized that erosion and flooding has brought about conflicts in communities, stating that such conflicts can be managed when the issue is resolved.
On his part, the President General of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Barrister Titus Akpudo spoke on the state’s ecological problem, saying that unless assistance is rendered, other problems in the state may not be solved, while the CSO coordinator in the state, Prince Chris Azor noted that without security and social protection, there will be no peace, asking the United Nations to set up a social protection policy in the state.