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The Presidency hinted yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari was happy with the government of Kogi State for its effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) programmes in the state.
The senior special assistant on SDGs to the President, Princess Adejoke Adefulire disclosed this during the official commissioning of the remodeled ultra-modern SDGs office in Lokoja, Princess Adejoke said Kogi State, under the current government had been active in the implementation of SDGs projects.
She described the special adviser on SDGs to the governor of Kogi State, Arc Abudulmumuni Okara as a professional and a great manager of resources.
Her words: “The president is pleased and happy to witness the commissioning of the SDGs office in Kogi State. I have been interacting with the SA SDGs from Kogi State since I was appointed by Mr President and I always find in him, great zeal, enthusiasm and passion to ensure the realisation of the SDGs objectives in his state.
“Arc Okara is a workaholic public officer and a great asset to the government of Kogi State. I want to thank the governor of Kogi State, Alh Yahaya Bello for the prompt payment of the state’s counterpart fund for the 2014 CGS/SDGs projects. We will continue to work with Kogi State at the SDGs being among the states that are working seriously to bring development to the grassroots through Sustainable Development Goals”.
The special adviser to the governor of Kogi State, Arc Abdulmumuni Okara who spoke with joy thanked the SSA on SDGs to Mr President for her key interest to ensure that Kogi SDGs is repositioned to attain its objectives.
While enumerating the achievements of the SDGs under the New Direction Government of Alh Yahaya Bello, Okara said the SDGs in the state was re positioned to bring development closer to the people.
He said, “The SDGs under your leadership in the last one year has recorded monumental achievements and remarkable progress. When we came on board in March 2016, the first thing we did was to embark on Sensitization and SDGs Facility Tour across the 21 LGAs of the State and as part of preparation for the smooth take-off of the sustainable development agenda in Kogi State, the Governor quickly approved a sensitization Workshop on SDGs involving all Stakeholders: Local Government Areas, Traditional Rulers, Political Officer Holders and Civil/Community/Faith Based Organization.
“This was done to enable us examine the success and the challenges of the SDGs in Kogi State.
“Funding of the SDGs projects has been a serious issue. Prior to the time we came on board in March 2016, the office was operating at its lowest ebb due to the inability of the former administration to raise fund to meet the State and the Local Governments’ counterpart funds for the year 2014 MDGs projects. This challenge has since become a thing of the past as your “New Direction Administration”, quickly raised the sum of one billion, two hundred million N1,200,000,000.00 Naira only, to meet the counterpart fund for the state and the six benefiting Local Government Areas.
“This approval and prompt release of the counterpart fund is hinged and motivated by your drive for youth and women empowerment which is part of the new direction that your administration is already charting for the good people of Kogi State”. Under the New Direction Agenda, Kogi government has also approved the employment and expansion of Village Health Workers from 120 to 200 to accommodate more people which is a social investment programme and the payment of twenty thousand Naira monthly allowance.
This scheme covers twelve Local Government Areas and for a period of eight months. We have commenced the execution of the 2014 CGS/SDGs projects in six local government areas with construction and equipping of six Primary Healthcare Centres, purchase of six state-of-the-art referral vehicles (ambulances), rehabilitation and equipping of 12-Nos. Health Centre across the state under your health project known as “GYB Healthcare plus” programme”.
Arc Okara appealed to Governor Yahaya Bello for more fund to enable SDGs attain its set goals as soon as possible in line with the New Direction Agenda.
The Governor commended the Special Adviser and the entire staff of the SDGs for their commitment and support for his administration noting that he will continue to play his own part from the executive angle to support the SDGs programmes while acknowledging the importance of the agency.