Abia state governor, Theodore Orji
Abia state has commenced another round of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) implementation with the official launch of three new programmes to tackle poverty, reduce morbidity and mortality in mothers, new-born babies and infants.
The new programmes, namely Grants to Agro-based Cooperatives, Village Health Workers (VHW) and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) were launched in Umuahia by the Abia state government and the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs.
This drive to attain the MDGs has attracted commendation from the Presidency which expressed satisfaction at the way Abia has been pursuing the goal of hitting the MDG target, which has so far cost the state N3 billion in counterparts funding.
Senior special assistant (SSA) to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, gave the commendation at the launch of three anti-poverty components of the MDGs, saying that the state has been posting good results in the provision of infrastructure and improvement of service delivery.
The SSA, who was represented by Mr. Dennis Harry, noted that the three MDG programmes were very to the attainment of the anti-poverty aspect of the MDGs as they would impact on the lives of the less privileged and vulnerable members of the society.
She said with the steadfastness and diligence that Abia has demonstrated in meeting up with its counterpart funding and the implementation of the MDG projects the office of the SSA on MDGs was confident the state would continue to perform well in the race to meet the goal.
In his keynote address Abia state governor, Chief Theodore Orji assured that the state was in good stead to achieve the MDG target in 2015, adding that no resources would be spared to ensure that the set goals were achieved.
â€œOur government is confident that with the structures on ground MDGs is achievable in Abia state in 2015,â€ he said, adding that the launching of GAC, CCT, and VHW was to further promote and advance development in the rural communities.
The governor stated that his administration has done a lot alleviate poverty through massive empowerment of youths, women and the vulnerable groups in the state.
Earlier the Abia state focal person on MDGs, Mrs. Adanma Iheuwa, who is also the permanent secretary in the state planning commission, said that the three MDG activities would â€œimpact on the lives of the less privileged and vulnerable Abians. According to her, 2,250 households would benefit from the CCT, each receiving N5,000 per month for one year and an additional N100,000 grant to be invested in agro-business while the agro-based cooperative innovation was geared at job creation in the rural areas.
She said since 2007 when Abia keyed into the MGD Conditional Grant Scheme the state has been benefitting immensely from this scheme, adding that the state has therefore implemented a lot of projects.
â€œOur endearing partnership with the OSSAP-MDGs, which we are very proud of, is attributed to the far-reaching support the Ochendo administration has been enjoying from the national and multi-national development partners,â€ Iheuwa said.