The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has expressed gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federal Government for selecting Enugu State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) office to serve as the accelerator/innovation hub for the South-east states.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of a two-day United Nations (UN) joint workshop on Institutionalizing Social Protection for Accelerated SDGs Implementation in Nigeria, in Enugu, the Enugu State Commissioner for Special Duties and the Focal Person on SDGs, Mabel Agbo, who represented Governor Ugwuanyi at the event, assured the UNDP and the Federal Government that Mr Ugwuanyi’s administration will not take the selection for granted.

Mrs Agbo stressed that the state government will cooperate with the UNDP and the federal agency and work assiduously to ensure that the aim of selecting Enugu State to serve as the zonal accelerator/innovation hub is achieved.

“Fortunately, we have a governor in Enugu State who has a heart for the poor and vulnerable”, the commissioner said, adding that “the moment this workshop is able to address the issue of capacity, the modalities for implementation will be smoothly addressed by our highly compliant and ever-willing governor (Ugwuanyi).

“As you, therefore, deliberate on your well-chosen topic, ‘Institutionalizing Social Protection for Accelerated SDGs Implementation in Nigeria’, be rest assured of the commitment of the state government to the implementation of the resolutions and takeaways reached to further strengthen the SDGs implementation in the state,” she said.

Mrs Agbo also commended the state’s private sector partners, namely Phinotec Company Nigeria Limited, White Concept Construction Nigeria Limited and Fordmarx Nigeria Limited for their consistency in terms of financial support.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), Orelope Adefulire, represented by the office’s Senior Technical Adviser, Yusuf Bala, explained that the cardinal aim of the SDGs, embedded in the federal and state governments’ objectives, is to uplift the standard of living of the people through budgetary allocations to health, education, potable water supply, innovations and skills acquisition, among others.

Mr Bala pointed out that the noble objectives are being driven by bureaucracies of government, revealing that the choice of Enugu was because of its central location, peaceful atmosphere and the state government’s commitment to the laudable vision of SDGs.

He reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to lift Nigerians out of poverty, stating that the prevailing challenges in the country will hopefully come to an end in no distant time.

The UNICEF Country Coordinator, Faizat Busari, and his UNDP counterpart, Amaranth Bundara, were at the event.

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