The Enugu State Government says it will partner with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESC) in ways to achieve poverty alleviation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said this during the inauguration of UNESC South-East and awards presentation in Enugu on Friday.
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Dr Kingsley Ude, said it had taken bold steps to implement programmes that had direct impact on the people since he assumed office.
“These programmes in various sectors, including education, economic empowerment, agriculture, healthcare and rural development, are meant to rejuvenate our people’s economic and financial resources.
“Our government is SDG compliant and we have created a special office to see that the 17 targets of the SDGs are met and our people benefit immensely from it.
“As a government, we welcome UNESC to Enugu state and having your regional South-East office in Enugu.
“We are assuring you of close partnership. Enugu state will be working in synergy with UNESC to ensure it achieves its SDGs target in record time for the benefit of our people,’’ Ugwuanyi said.
In a goodwill message, Wife of the Bayelsa State Governor, Mrs Gloria Diri, said that “UNESC is a call to serve Nigerians and make their lives better by pulling millions out of poverty and lack’’.
Diri, however, encouraged the UNESC members to remain focused and partner with government at all levels, especially at the grassroots, to ensure the SDGs are achieved.
“This is to ensure there is prosperity for Nigerians, notwithstanding their remote locations,” she said.
The Full Chairman of UNESC Africa, Prof. Nathan Tor-Luga, thanked the state government for receiving the council with open arms and ensuring that all its state functionaries work to achieve United Nations goals in the state.
“Enugu state and entire Southeast will benefit a lot from programmes of UNESC in agriculture and innovative/digital economy,’’ Tor-Luga said.
Speaking, Full Chairman of UNESC Nigeria, Dr Blessing Gozi-Anyaokei, said UNESC is one of the six principle organs of the UN, responsible for coordinating socio-economic, humanitarian and cultural activities carried out by UN’s largest and most complex subsidiary body.
“Our focus is to have a world united for common good by spreading peace and unity through different activities that will promote the SDGs, making people’s lives be in prosperity globally.
“We are also in the forefront of eradicating poverty, malnutrition, maltreatment and other negativity in the lives of the people of the world.
“Above all, an organisation that will be the partner of the UN in all its undertakings,’’ Gozi-Anyaokei said.
The South-East Coordinator of UNESC, Mrs Uche Elue, said her office would focus more on empowerment for women and youths in rural areas.
Elue, who was inaugurated at the event, said: “We will be leveraging agriculture, extractive industry, local arts and tourism to create jobs and wealth for our people in the rural areas.
“Today, I have met with various government functionaries in Enugu and planning to meet others in other South-East states.
“We will draw out a workable roadmap to marshal out programmes that will assist us achieve the SDGs’’.
A major highlight of the event was an award presentation to Mr Richard Egwuma, the Treasurer of Igboeze South Local Government Area, for his empowerment initiative in the area over the years.