The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) members on Thursday were in Calabar, the state capital of Cross River State holding a retreat on Management Accountability Framework, a foundation piece of the UN reforms process to engage with government and help facilitate the achievement the State’s giant industrialization drive.
The retreat was declared open by the Executive Governor of CRS Sen. Ben Ayade ably represented by His Deputy, Prof Ivara Esu who stated that development begins when the people are ready to take their destiny in their own hands in spite of whatever circumstances they may find themselves as success can be achieved by that.
He charged them to focus more on Global and National issues affecting the state such as Climate change, Water and Sanitation, open Defecation, Agriculture, industrialization which are the key areas of Sen. Ben Ayade’s government as well as Healthcare and poverty reduction.
The Governor noted that Cross River State will continue to be an attraction to the development partners and will continue to sustain the current momentum and also share with sister states in the spirit of South south cooperation as well as triangular cooperation which has always been in existence and will continue to create that needed synergy with them to enable the state achieve more.
Mr. Edward Kallon, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator said, Nigeria is making progress in integrating the SDGs into National Development Plans and programmes with several key policies, institutional and regulatory measures put in place to create an enabling environment for mainstreaming SDGs in National policies, plans and its coordination. He however noted that the young generation is losing faith in democracy and the level of unemployment is simply a time bomb.
Speaking on behalf of Cross River State Government was Dr Betta Edu the immediate past Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, she made a presentation on the positive developmental strides and achievements of Cross River State regarding SDGs especially in areas of Water and Sanitation, Healthcare, Climates change and Poverty alleviation through the Industrialization drive of the State Government.
She brought to their notice the Bakassi issue as well as the collection of our oil wells and other resources which left the State at the financial level that it is today. she informed them that the affected victims are yet to be compensated even when they was an agreement for proper compensation. Not just for Bakassi people but for CRS.
She stressed on the State’s GDP, our Agricultural level as at today, the level of job creation so far, our large industrialization drive and successes etc., all driven by Governor Ben Ayade noting that the UN support will help Cross River state do more and pull hundreds of thousands out of poverty.
She called on the UN to support the State in important sectors like Education, Agriculture, climate change/ forestation Health, water and sanitation as well as Industrialization. She called for more support for the refugees that number over 25000 in State and are putting lots of strain on our little resources.
As usual, Dr Edu threw more light on the position of the State by giving out a clear indices of the State in the aspect of Poor Birth Registration, Child Protection, Violent Discipline Against Children which she revealed to still be very high, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) still on a high side and Child Management as she didn’t forget to tell our August Visitors about the ugly experiences in Obanliku village where children are given out for marriage for as little as 2,000 naira as its being called “MONEY WOMAN”
She concluded showcasing potentials in the state from the brown field investments which the can attract more investors to the low hanging fruits where the State has remained the first and only one to have been declared Open defecation free as 6 LGAs so far are free, pleading that more support comes in to enable the state capture the remaining 12 LGAs.
She thanked the UN team/partners and the solution oriented Governor as well as Cross Riverians for being able to achieve such giant strides in a short time amidst very little resources.