Abia Begins Projects For Food Security, Poverty Eradication

Ebola virusAbia state government has launched three projects, which include grants to agro based cooperatives, conditional cash transfer to the indigents and vulnerable as well as the village health workers conditional grant scheme.

The state government says this is in line with presidential initiatives on millennium development goals.

According to the State governor, Theodore Orji, the initiative is expected to enhance economic development of the rural areas, increase food security and alleviate poverty as well as create employment opportunities.

While presenting cheques to beneficiaries, he noted that the state is committed to achieving all the MDGs programne and hinted that the launch of the projects would also ensure food sufficiency, reduce crimes and provide social amenities in the rural areas.

Village health workers who were the first set of beneficiaries received cheques, medical kits and a monthly pay of 15,000 naira while 500,00 naira was given to the agro based cooperatives. A sum of 50,000 naira conditional cash transfer and a phone was given out to less privileged.

A total of 2,200 people benefited from the conditional cash transfer aimed at achieving MDG1 and MDG4, while the village health workers conditional grant would improve service delivery in health facilities in rural areas.

The agro based cooperatives grant is geared towards efforts to achieve national food security.

Science and Technology Minister Advocates Proper Funding In Technology Development

Bulama MinisterThe Minister of Science and Technology, Dr ‎Abdul Bulama, has appealed to African leaders to ensure adequate funding and policies that would develop science and technology in the continent.

The Minister told a gathering of experts on science and technology in Abuja that achieving the Millennium Development Goals of 2015 by developing countries is directly linked to its focus on the adoption of new technologies and innovation.

The need to address critical issues related to healthcare, food security, water safety and environmental sustainability brought the experts from the African continent together, and the Minister noted that while Africa is endowed with human and natural resources, its ability to convert all of these into wealth, which is in science and technology is said to be underutilized.

“Developing countries stand to gain high rewards from new technology required in achieving the sustainable development goals. The low performance of these countries in attaining MDGs is largely due to low application of technology”, he said.

He called on African governments to redouble their efforts in achieving technological growth.

The Minister of Information Technology, Dr Mobola Johnson, also told the gathering that technology remains central to any nation’s development. She listed measures taken by Government to transform the sector.

“We are supporting the development of innovation in Nigeria by facilitating innovation hubs similar to the technology incubation centres we have in Science and Technology in Nigeria.

“There are two innovation hubs right now, one is in Lagos and one is in Calabar, and basically what we do is that we support young software entrepreneurs who have good software ideas but are unable to take them any further for whatever reason; either lack of capital or lack of support or mentorship, internet bandwidth, and all those kinds of things.”

However, for some other experts, funding of innovative technology alone would not help in achieving results but ideas backed with political will.

Obi Donates Funds And Equipment To Mission Hospital

Governor Peter Obi has presented an additional cheque for 50 million naira to the Holy Rosary Specialist Hospital and Maternity, Waterside Onitsha, for the completion of the ongoing Pharmacy and Diagnostic Building project.

This was part of the ongoing effort of the Anambra State Government to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in the area of Health.

During a visit to the hospital, in which he inspected the ongoing building projects and expressed satisfaction over the quality of work done, he also donated a fully equipped life support ambulance procured at the cost of 30 million Naira.

Responding, the Hospital Manager, Rev. Fr. Stanley Ozigbo, said that the Governor’s Integrated Development Strategy has yielded the much desired fruit, as their hospital was a shining example.

The Governor, also in the spirit of ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people of the state handed over to the Catholic Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, three security vehicles, following the recent developments in crime wave in the state.

The Governor performed the handover ceremony at the premises of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, with the Bishop commending the Governor’s effort.

Tricycle Riders Protest

Unknown to the Governor, while the security vehicles were being presented inside the Basilica, over 100 placard carrying commercial tricycle riders known as Keke Napep, gathered outside to protest illegal and multiple taxation of agents said to be working for the government.

A mild drama played out as the Governor was about leaving. Mr Victor Onyekachukwu lamented to the Governor, the excessive extortion by individuals, unions and groups on daily basis and pleaded with him to intervene.

The Governor not only condemned the development but also assured them of prompt investigation of the matter which will begin on Monday.

The Governor’s speech brought relief as the already tensed up situation was calmed.

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.

Governor Wada Distributes Ambulances To LGs

The Kogi State Government has distributed seven ambulances under the Millennium Development Goal programme to enhance health services in four Local Government Areas.

At the ceremony held in the Government House in Lokoja, Governor Idris Wada explained that the gesture was part of his administration’s plans to expand health delivery services at the grassroots.

In his key note address, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Kogi State on MDG, Yunusa Nasir, disclosed that the presentation became possible after the state government had paid the year 2012 counterpart fund for the four local governments.

He stated that his office has been able to use the fund judiciously, as some other projects were also executed in the said local governments, stating that the state government is on the move to also pay the 2013 counterpart fund.

While commissioning the project, Governor Wada noted that his administration is taking human index very seriously mostly at the rural areas.  He admonished the benefiting local government chairmen to treat the ambulances like their valued properties. He also sounded a note of warning that the ambulances should not be used for private purposes.

The local governments to benefit from this gesture of ambulances are Kogi, Igalamela, Bassa and Okehi local governments.

Present at the presentation ceremony were members of the State Executive Council, the beneficiary local government chairmen and their staff; the special adviser MDG and some members of his staff.

Al-Makura Calls For Liberalization Of MDG Grants Processes

Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has called for the liberalization of the MDG’s grant processes for local governments for Nigeria to attain the 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals Projects.

Mr. Al-makura made the call when the House of Representatives Committee on the Millennium Development Goals paid him a courtesy call while on oversight visit to the state as part of their inspection of projects across the country.

The Governor, while explaining the issues to the committee said that the State Government may not continue to fund its own 50% counterpart funding due to the depleting federal allocation to the state and local governments.

Despite acknowledging the challenges, the Chairman of the House Committee on MDGs, Al-Hassan Dogowa, believes that Nigeria will beat the 2015 deadline for the projects.

Governor Obi Flags Of Multiple Road Projects

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi has flagged off the construction of the 2 bridges across the popular Agulu Lake in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The project which will gulp a total cost of 2billion Naira is being handled by 2 different construction companies, with March 2014 fixed for completion.

In addition to the bridges, over 5 road construction projects in various communities have also been flagged of.

Mr. Peter Obi said the flag off of many projects is part of the final launch towards the realization of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, MDG in Anambra State.

The Governor also flagged off the Ekwulobia – Ezinifite road which is a 7 kilometre stretch, costing 800 million Naira. The State Commissioner for Works, Calistus Ilozumba said the contractors have been fully mobilized.

The flag off ceremony had a large turnout of Agulu people in attendance.

Reps Committee On MDGs Claim Nigeria Will Attain The Goals

With just about a thousand days to the expiration of the United Nations set, Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the chairman, House  Committee on MDG, Alhassan Doguwa, has stated that Nigeria is on course to meet the goals before the expiration of the intervention in December, 2015.

Rep. Doguwa gave this assurance during an oversight visit to some of the MDGs projects in Niger state.

Mr Doguwa, who is also the chairman network of African parliamentarians on the attainment of the MDGs in Africa, applauded the Niger state government for the timely implementation of the 2012 projects of the scheme.

The committee members were received by the officials of the state government at Dikko in Suleja local government area of the state for the inspection and commissioning of the MDG projects recently completed by the state government.

Mr Doguwa in company of other members of the committee commissioned the Primary Health Centre in Dikko.

The Director General of the Niger state MDGs; Ditijo Aliyu assured the committee that the projects scattered across the 25 local government areas of the state will be well utilized.

The committee members then paid a courtesy visit on the state Governor, Muazu Aliyu, who wondered why the committee is undertaking the oversight function at the twilight of the scheme.