United Nations Country Team (UNCT) members on Thursday at Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State held a retreat on Management Accountability Framework, a foundation piece of the UN reforms process to engage with government.
The retreat which was declare open by Governor Ben Ayade represented by His Deputy, Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu stated that development begins when the people are ready to take their destiny in their hands inspite of whatever circumstances they may find themselves.
He tasked the UN to focus more on global and national issues which affect the state such as Climate change, water and sanitation, healthcare and poverty alleviation as well as industrialization to create jobs.
The Governor noted that Cross River State will continue to be an attraction to the development partners, while sustaining the current momentum and also share with sister states in the spirit of South south cooperation as well as triangular cooperation.
According to him Cross River State will achieve more in healthcare with the implementation of state health insurance scheme (Ayadecare) and expansion to cover the refugees in the State. He call on the UN to give more support. In areas of industrialization, agriculture water and sanitation, ISO certification for manufacturing companies like garment factory and Cross River State Pharmaceutical; more support is needed.
Earlier Speaking the UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon 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 advised governments to unlock the billions of dollars needed to achieve the SDGs as the UN will play a key role in brokering and supporting such partnerships. He decried the level of youth unemployment in the country stating that Nigeria is sitting on a time Bomb
The immediate past Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu made presentation on behalf of all the state Government; presenting the developmental strides and achievements of Cross River State regarding SDGs especially in areas of Water and Sanitation, healthcare, climate change, agriculture and poverty alleviation as well as the massive industrialisation drive of the State Government. She called on the UN to invest more in the state, attract more investors and help with advocacy to the National and international community on issues borthering the Ceding of Bakassi and the oil wells.