Gov. Obi Boosts 2013 MDG Projects With 5 Billion Naira

Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, alongside the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, Dr Precious Gbeneol has commenced the implementation activities for the 2013 MDGs Conditional Grants Scheme in Anambra State.

Launching the scheme at the Women Development Center in Awka, the State Governor handed over a cheque of 5billion Naira from Anambra State Government to the MDG Office in the state, for accelerated implementation of projects in the areas of water, health, agriculture and education.

Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and officer in charge of MDGs in the state, Professor Stella Okunna, highlighted the implication of the final push in the state MDG Projects.

The Millennium Development Goals, partnership between the Federal and the State Government started in 2007 to jointly fund development projects, aimed at fast-tracking the achievement of the development goals in Nigeria.

Already, the Local Government Areas have been included in the partnership and under the 2011 round of the MDG and the Conditional Grants Scheme, CGS, a total funding of 600 million Naira was disbursed to three local government areas with 50% counterpart funding from State and Local Government.

A total of 304 projects across water, health and education were delivered in the three local councils. In 2012, the Local Government MDG Implementation areas got to 14 and about 1.6 billion Naira was utilised. The Governor lent credence to those facts and maintained that an increased effort in 2014 would be experienced.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Precious Gbeneol, announced additional eight Local Government Areas to be included in the MDG scheme in Anambra to further scale up the intervention.

The 2013 MDG Conditional Grants Scheme interventions for 2013 include Abattoirs, regional large water schemes, medical staff quarters, boreholes and other small town projects.

Jonathan Commissions Cottage Hospital In Otueke

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday commissioned a 40-bed Comprehensive Cottage Hospital in Otueke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.

The model Cottage Hospital is a well-equipped facility with a  laboratory, surgical theatre, emergency and casualty ward, two blocks of staff quarters, administrative block and a morgue.

According to the President, the nation’s maternal mortality rate has dropped by 30 per cent in the last four years.

He said his administration would not relent in its efforts at attaining the MDGs target of 250 per one hundred thousand women by 2015.

Restating his commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially in the Health sector, the President said all hands would be on deck at ensuring that the nation achieves its MDGs objectives in all the sectors by 2015.

“I recall that the construction of this model hospital began in 2006 as an initiative of the Bayelsa state government, but it was later taken over by the Millennium Development Goals office in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government. It is most gratifying to come and witness not only its completion but its formal commissioning today.”

“All this have been made possible by the hard work, diligence and perseverance of all the stakeholders.”

Nigeria, a great country is faced with a number of developmental challenges, which we have tried to confront since inception of this administration two years ago.

We embarked on reforms of several sectors of our national economy with a single-minded commitment and determination.

“I am glad to declare that we are making significant progress in all sectors, as it’s evident for all to see. The health sector as you are all aware is a cardinal priority of our transformation agenda. Attainment of the universal health coverage as well as provision of comprehensive health care for all our citizens is a goal we have set for ourselves” he said.

He also said “today’s commissioning event, therefore, not only underscores this commitment, it also represents yet another milestone in our drives towards actualizing the health related components of the MDGs.”

“I welcome the collaboration between the Bayelsa State government and the Federal government which has made today’s event a reality. I urge the government and the people of the state to consolidate this collaboration.

“Let me use this unique opportunity to tell Nigerians that as a government we are working extremely hard to meet up our Millennium Development Goals. As at 2008, we had 500 deaths of every one hundred thousand women that give birth to children. As at now we have reduced that to 350. The target for the Millennium Development Goals is 250 and God willing before the end of 2015, we will get that.”

Also, commenting on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson expressed his readiness to collaborate with the federal government and its agencies, noting that arrangement has been concluded to sign the Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme Bill already passed by the State House of Assembly into law.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, while conducting the President around the premises explained efforts that have been made to ensure that the hospital has world class facility.


FG Vows To Meet All MDGs

With less than 1,000 days to the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and maternal mortality rate figure at 350 per 100,000 live births, the Federal Government has restated its promise to achieve all the goals in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health; Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, claimed that Nigeria has succeeded in achieving goals four, five and six which relates to health.

The goals are promoting gender equality and empowering women, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases respectively.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs; Dr Precious Gbeneol expressed confidence that remarkable progress has been made and that government is making efforts to hit the milestone.

According to Dr Gbeneol, top on the list of achievements for Nigeria is the net attendance levels for basic education which she says, has increased over time.

She further claims that the Federal Government is working hard to ensure that it hits the 100 per cent mark by 2015.

The MDGs boss also said Nigeria has recorded progress in its bid to reduce maternal mortality with the country’s maternal mortality rate figure now at 350 down from 1000 per 100,000 live births in 1990 and 545 in 2008.

She however agrees that Nigeria is still 28.6 per cent away from the 2015 target.

The Minister of Health lists the decline in HIV prevalence rate from as high as 5.8 to 4.1 in 2012 and the increase in the proportion of under-5 children sleeping under insecticide treated nets from 2.2 per cent in 2003 to 34.6 per cent in 2012 as confirmed by MDGs survey of 2012.

In the area of poverty eradication the Federal Government says it has appropriated the sum of N10 billion to assist poor households across the country.

But the sentiments claimed by the government officials on the nation’s progress in achieving the goals is not shared by all, as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated that Nigeria can meet the targets with a strict adherence to the mechanisms that have been put in place for successful implementation.

Experts advocate the need for Nigeria to look beyond the targeted date of 2015 by consolidating on the gains of the MDGs and evolve new developmental initiatives for the welfare of Nigerians.

The year 2015 is the deadline for the realization of the MDGs set by the United Nations in the year 2000 with about 189 countries including Nigeria being signatories to achieving the goals which are geared towards reducing extreme poverty among other priorities.