The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured support for the implementation and sustainability of United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)’s intervention programmes in the state.
The governor gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the Chief of UNICEF Akure Office, Dr Tushar Rane, at Government House in Benin City.
The governor noted that his administration has put mechanisms in place to drive the implementation of UNICEF’s programmes at the grassroot level, adding, “We have the Ward Development Committees (WDC) in every ward that give us feedback on government’s programmes executed through the local government councils. This will ensure that the programmes are effective in our communities.
“It is important we put in place systems and processes to make sure we get things done and done rightly and sustainably.”
Obaseki said the state government will complete the study of the UNICEF’s Social Protection Policy before the end of the year, adding that the issue of child malnutrition is being tackled holistically to ensure the right intervention policies are put in place.
“We want to know the policy requirements that are needed to deal with the issue of malnutrition and we will like to link the school feeding programme to some of our agricultural programmes,” he added.
For the Airing of Fact of Life Radio programme proposed by the UNICEF Chief, the governor said the state would support its airing as soon as the programme series are ready, adding that the state government would collaborate more with UNICEF to ensure that the implementation of its intervention programmes are data-driven.
The Chief of UNICEF Office, Akure, commended Governor Obaseki on the giant strides being recorded in support of children and women with more than 50 per cent of the state recurrent expenditure on healthcare and education.
He commended the launch of the Edo Health Care Insurance scheme with the state government committing N1 billion for the implementation of the programme in the 2020 budget and the appropriation of N1 billion for the implementation of primary health care reforms in the state.
Dr. Rane sought for the support of the state government in the implementation for social protection policy, Open Defecation Free and State Committee of Food and Nutrition in Edo State.
He recommended end user monitoring of ongoing social sector intervention, use of data for decision making, long-term state development planning process and scale up of high impact initiatives.