Earlier today at the SSG Conference Hall, Government House Awka, an interactive session was held between the State Government represented by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Mrs Ifeyinwa Obinabo, the Resident Coordinator of the UN Systems Operational Activities for development in Nigeria, Mr Mathias Schmale and partners, Civil Society of Nigeria, Religious Leaders, Youth and Women Leaders, etc.
In his address, Mr Mathias pointed out that the United Nations was not originally founded to be a crisis response organization but rather, founded to make peace in the world. He noted that the United Nations has a role to promote peace in Nigeria, most especially the South East. He further added that the UN looks beyond the Government, the reason why they engage with critical stakeholders. He said Anambra is the most entrepreneurial state in Nigeria. According to him, the UN might not solve developmental issues but can help build the potentials of ndi Anambra.
Responding to questions and contributions of stakeholders present in the meeting, Mr Mathias said the country is lagging behind in Education, stressing on the need for States to spend 10% of their income on education but in Nigeria, it’s an average of 2% according to global statistics. Part of our role as UN is to advocate at all level to ensure that the resources we have is invested in education. The second key point is the quality of education. We must find ways to collaborate with the government on how to improve the quality of education in the state.
Mr Mathias revealed that UNICEF has an initiative called “Generation Unlimited’ that is trying to build Public Private Partnerships to tackle unemployment. He said the private sector is needed on the table and where the UN comes in is to enlighten the Government, the Private Sector and Stakeholders the goal of “Generation Unlimited” which is to put 20 million young people into employment in the year 2030! That’s substantial if that can be pulled off.
Another factor to look into is to highlight the significance of vocational training in Anambra. If a country is full of PhD holders, nobody will do the real work according to Mr Mathias. Germany, Japan and Korea is a model for Vocational training. The UN will broker relationships with these countries that have figured out Vocational training to see what they can do to help Anambra State on unemployment issues.
On security, Mr Mathias talked about the UN desire to improve state policing on Federal and State level. The aim is not to make the police harsh or violent but rather, to get them do their job properly, to protect citizens. He said many countries in the world are struggling with policing issues such as Germany and the USA. He also made mention of the justice system, that’s another priority of the UN, to ensure the justice system functions efficiently. Lastly, he lamented on the spread of hate speech by young people on social media, advising they desist from such.
Anthony Chukwuemeka Eri