THE Enugu State Government, says it will partner with the United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) on programmes geared towards the eradication of poverty to improve human capital development.
Gov. Peter Mbah said this at the inauguration of the steering committee on Social Protection Policy (SPP) on Wednesday in Enugu.
Mbah said the committee was addled with the responsibility of overseeing the success of UNICEF-assisted projects in the state.
He said the partnership was in line with the poverty eradication policy of his administration.
Mbah, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Chidiebere Onyia, said the administration was clear from inception on eradicating poverty and improving the standard of living of the citizens.
The governor stated that the government had already initiated key programmes that would drive the policy targeted at lifting people out of poverty.
He added that UNICEF advocacy of SPP would strengthen the resolve of the Mbah administration to achieve a zero per cent poverty headcount within the next eight years.
Mbah said that the state targeted to increase its internally generated revenue through expansion of economic activities.
This, he said, would attract more investments and exploitation of the abundant resource deposits across the state without increasing or overburdening the citizens with taxes.
“We have made tremendous effort to strengthen our institutions. We are increasing our IGR through the e-governance framework which is already plugging leakages.
“Our administration is clear about its governance philosophy of transparency, traceability and holding public officeholders to account,” he added.
Mbah commended the UNICEF for its support to the state government through its various programmes.
He said his administration would create the enabling environment for the success of the social protection policy which was a key target of the government.
Charging the steering committee to be dynamic, systematic and strategic in their approach to delivering on the assignment given to it, the governor assured that the institutional framework and other supports that would help to catalyze the policy would be given priority.
Speaking earlier, the UNICEF Enugu Chief of Field Office, Mrs Juliet Chiluwe, commended the state government for its efforts in charting the path to sustainable development with the policy.
Chiluwe said when fully implemented, it would have an “Overarching goal to establish a gender-sensitive, inclusive and lifecycle framework to ensure a life of dignity for all citizens of Enugu State.
She said the social protection policy had been the bedrock of development in developed countries through special budgetary allocation.
“Social Protection Policy has been the bedrock of development even for developed countries as they budget between 20-26 per cent of their GDP on social protection. The social protection is cross-cutting and multi-sectoral,” she said.
According to her, the social protection policy would improve key aspects of human capital development in the state, including social assistance, social care, social insurance, labour market interventions, micro and small and enterprises development.
She urged the government to assist in facilitating the implementation mechanism for social protection through the creation and funding of the Social Protection Department which would be domiciled in the State Economic Planning Commission.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Eradication, Dr Malachy Agbo, promised that the committee would do everything within its reach to deliver on the mandate given to it.
Commending the governor for already pioneering the policy meant at eradicating poverty in the state, Agbo said the state Deputy Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ossai would head the committee.
The commissioner expressed confidence that eliminating poverty within the next eight years was possible.
On her part, the Commissioner for Children, Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Ngozi Enih, said the governor had already paid some of the counterpart funds targeted at economic empowerment and emancipation of women in the state.
She added that the initiatives were deliberate as they were part of the promises made by the governor in his Social Contract with the people.
The commissioner disclosed that more women had started accessing grants to help them set up business, improve their capital base and expand their trading and farming activity.
The committee members were Mr Dan Onyishi of the Enugu State Economic Planning Commission, Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro-Industrialization, Mr Patrick Ubru, Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr Felix Nnamani and the Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education, Dr Gabriel Ajah.
Others are the Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Lloyd Ekweremadu.
Others are Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Obi, Commissioner for Education, Prof Ndubueze Mbah, Special Adviser to the Governor on Donor Relations and Mr. Arinze Chilo-Offiah, among others. (NAN)
November 16, 2023 @ 7:30 GMT|