THE country office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria has declared its support for what it called a people-centred approach to governance adopted by the Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Noting that Ugwuanyi’s government is strong, the UNICEF country representative, Mohammed Fall, who led a delegation from the UN body to the Government House, Enugu said, “I want also to thank you for your leadership; your vision, your government is also strong.
“Since you became governor, the atmosphere in Enugu has been serene. I thank you for the overall leadership you are providing to the development work, the partnership with UNICEF and for maintaining the status of Enugu as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.
“From the report I receive, Enugu is in God’s hands; this is really true due to the peaceful atmosphere Enugu and the easy life people enjoy in the state.”
The governor explained that Enugu has also become a clear child-friendly state while also earning plaudits for her free maternal and child healthcare programme.
The UNICEF team also commended the governor and the state lawmakers for the synergy that culminated in the passage of the Child Rights Act Law, a development, Fall said also validates their verdict that Ugwuanyi was offering exemplary leadership to the people of the state.
Fall hailed the relationship between UNICEF and the state government, and thanked the governor “for the outstanding cooperation you extended to UNICEF, for the facilities you have provided for us throughout last year, which I must confirm is the best in the county.”
The governor informed his visitors that to reinforce the status of Enugu as a child-friendly state, “money is currently being released to the Ministry of Gender Affairs for mainstream children and women related programs in budget implementation” in the state.
Said Ugwuanyi, “we have set up a State Committee on Child Adoption and Fostering to facilitate the Child Rights Act and to protect children from all other forms of abuse, including child trafficking while improving the quality of child justice administration and creating awareness and sensitization on adoption and related matters in Enugu.”
He noted further that the government was committed to providing a conducive environment for children in the state, to which the government has committed huge sums of money. The funds are for the upgrading of infrastructure and other facilities in in primary and secondary schools in the state that will affect over 270 primary schools in the state.
According to him, one of the positive outcomes of this initiative is the improved performance of Enugu State in the last West Africa School Certificate Examinations (WASCE), where the state placed ninth on the table. There are indications that the state can achieve a better position in future, he said.