By Christian ABURIME
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR, on behalf of Anambra State Government has signed a five-year agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed at the Government House, Awka, can be extended for another five years on expiration.
Shortly after the signing ceremony, the Governor also opened a temporary UNDP office for use in Awka.
Governor Soludo who described UNDP as a major foundational partner, thanked them for their assistance and congratulated the Chairman and members of the Truth, Peace, and Justice Commission for their recommendations among which is the establishment of a Bureau of Missing Persons
He stated that the State Executive Council had approved it, as domiciled in the State Ministry of Justice.
“After I was sworn in on the 17th of March, we went on an inspection tour to Okpoko on the 18th of March, and on that day, UNDP sowed a big seed of partnership, and they have continued to scale up their level of support in multidimensional ways to this day.”
“On June 9th, the UNDP stormed Anambra to visit Okpoko and assisted in the ongoing clean up of the area, fixing our dump sites, and providing funding for flooding threat.”
“As a state, we have defined our vision and require global and national partnerships with the private sector and the people themselves (an open society concept where everyone has something to contribute.
“The UNDP will be at the heart of these three foundations: knowledge provision, resource mobilization, and network formation with other partnerships.
“We launched a waste management program called “clean, green, and sustainable Anambra,” and I am very excited about the report I received from consultants and what can be done. This is why I emphasized on the knowledge that UNDP can offer”.
The Governor spoke on the launching of the “one youth, two skills” program, the solution innovation district to develop Anambra youth, among others, emphasizing that the partnership has a large agenda as well as what it entails, in terms of human and financial resources.
“In signing this MOU, part of it frames systemic multidimensional development in the areas of this collaboration.
“It would be a huge step forward if UNDP could assist us in addressing our environmental challenges.
“Some of the things being done is not immediately apparent to the people, but they will recognize and appreciate it in the long run.
“Having a UNDP office in the state is very important.” With you here, I expect other international development partners to visit the state.
“Together, with these partnerships, we will be able to have so many interventions that the rest of the world can replicate,” Governor Soludo concluded.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu noted that the MOU signing was informed by the need by UNDP to take their relationship with the government of Anambra State a notch higher.
On his part, the leader of the UNDP team representing the President, Muhammed Yahaya recalled that the beginning of the journey at Governor Soludo’s first day in office, and revealed that the relationship being built with the state, was because of the Governor’s reputation.
He assured that his team will work with the state government on erosion, flood threat, revenue generation, innovative development solutions, and peace resolution in the state, expressing delight at the establishment of the UNDP office in the state.
In separate speeches, Chairman and Secretary of the Peace, Truth, and Justice Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and Her Excellency, Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu respectively appreciated the UNDP for their partnership with Anambra State Government.
Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Uche Okafor, Head of Service, Barr. Theodora Igwegbe, Chief of Staff, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi,
Members of Anambra State Executive, among others, attended the event.