Through our joint stabilization work, we can reduce needs and strengthen support for humanitarian action
ABUJA, Nigeria, October 15, 2021 / APO Group / –
Concluding an eight-day official visit to Nigeria today, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Regional Director for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, underlined the urgency to seize the crucial opportunities to accelerate the sustainable development of Nigeria development.
During her visit, Ms. Eziakonwa met with HE President Muhammadu Buhari, HE Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other senior leaders at federal and state level – stressing the importance of leveraging the establishment of wealth by investing in women, youth, the creative industry and the private sector. The mission included a visit to several cities in the northeast, Abuja, Owerri and Lagos.
Beginning with the crossing on foot of the Cameroon-Nigerian border into Borno State, the Deputy Secretary General witnessed the impact that the Federal Government and Borno State – have led stabilization efforts on most vulnerable people in northeastern Nigeria – where Ms. Eziakonwa inaugurated infrastructure serving border communities in the Lake Chad Basin (both Cameroon and Nigeria), such as a police station, barracks and new immigration and border control offices as well as accommodation for immigration officers.
“The stabilization efforts are working. I was in Banki less than a year ago and being there again last week, I was struck by the transformation that the city and its people have undergone, ”explained the UNDP regional director. “Police and customs officials were proud to be back to serve the people of the community, who in turn expressed that they now feel safer. Through our joint stabilization work, we can reduce needs and strengthen support for humanitarian action.
In Abuja, Ms. Eziakonwa met with HE President Buhari, to strengthen UNDP support for Nigeria’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans to accelerate sustainable development during the Decade of Action – focused on change climate, wealth creation, youth employment and women’s participation in politics.
“The Nigerian authorities and people reacted immediately to the pandemic and we are proud to have supported the purchase of forty percent of the equipment needed for the response as part of a ‘One UN’ effort,” he said. underlined Ms. Eziakonwa. “However, the pandemic is not yet over and we must now redouble our efforts to tackle the global inequalities evident in the vaccine starvation. Vaccines should be available to all who want them. ”
Ms. Eziakonwa commended the federal government for launching the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (NPRGS), mandated to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years, stressing the fundamental role that the government plays. private sector in Nigeria.
In Owerri, in partnership with the governments of Imo and Abia States, Ms. Eziakonwa launched a socio-economic revitalization project to support 11,000 people in the two regions to strengthen the economic capacities of communities affected by the pandemic . The support will go to support livelihoods, business continuity, improved food security and social cohesion as well as support for start-ups.
In Lagos, Ms. Eziakonwa inaugurated Nigeria’s first acceleration lab, which will provide young people with the opportunity to accelerate and develop local solutions to Nigeria’s development challenges. Along with the private sector, she has witnessed a renewed commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and youth empowerment, including through the Jubilee scholarship program.
“What I have witnessed in Nigeria, and last week in Cameroon, is a vibrant Africa. Empowering people, especially women and youth, to facilitate their efforts and scale up the transformative innovations they develop, is the only way to support Nigeria and its people on their unique development path towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.
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