UN commends Delta State on delivery of MDGs, Uduaghan vows to present report as bill

Source: pointblanknews.com

After over a year's on-the-spot-assessment of implementation of the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations has commended the

Delta State government for meeting international standards in the thematic

areas of education, health, agriculture, provision of portable water and

sanitation through the micro-credit scheme.
The commendation came in New York as the report of UN assessors who had

been in Delta State for over 12 months evaluating the status of core

thematic areas in the global body's MDGs target was unveiled before an

international audience.
According to press statement issued in New York by Chike C. Ogeah, Delta

State Commissioner for Information, the free medical care programme for

children under five years and seniors over 65 as well as the free maternal

care up to delivery for pregnant women was highlighted as a crucial

project that has reduced infant mortality in Delta State.

On education, the report noted that the introduction of Edu-Marshals, a

scheme whereby officials are deployed to all towns in the state to ensure

that children of school age are in institutions, alongside the free and

compulsory education of children up to secondary education was recommended

by the UN report for adoption by other governments in meeting the goals of

universal education.
The report which was made public at the on-going UN General Assembly in

New York, the United States, was read by Ambassador Shola Omoregie, a

former UN Secretary General's envoy to Africa who led the team of seasoned

UN experts to Delta State. The report noted that the implementation of the

MDGs remains an unfinished business and highlighted the challenges and

bottlenecks that need to be addressed by the state government.

Speaking on the report, a visibly elated Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, governor

of the state, thanked the UN saying his peers had thought he had taken too

much of a risk by opening himself and the state to such scrutiny by the

global body. In his view, it was not a pass or fail affair, as “what I

wanted to know are the areas we were doing well, what areas we needed to

do more and what areas we needed to alter our strategy”.

Uduaghan said his decision to seek the unbiased assessment of the UN was

in the best interest of not just the present generation of Deltans but

those growing up. He promised to institutionalise the report for Deltans

by taking a Bill to the House of Assembly for the findings to become a

working document for succeeding administrations.
The governor stated that he will also present the report to President

Goodluck Jonathan and urged his colleagues to tow this path as their

states could only be better enriched in terms of good governance and

transparency by similar assessment.
Apart from Ogeah, other officials on Uduaghan's entourage are the

commissioners for health, Dr. Joseph Otumara; water resources, Dr. Chris

Oghenechovwen; higher education, Professor Hope Eghagha and environment,

Chief Frank Omare. Others are the commissioner for agriculture, Mr. Misan

Ukubeyinje; commissioner for Delta State Oil Producing Areas Developmemt

Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr. Timi Tonye; the governor's senior special

adviser on foreign relations who coordinated the UN assessment project,

Mr. Oma Djeba; chairman of DESPADEC, Mr. Oritsuwa Kpogho and the members

of the Nigerian Business community.
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