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Group holds conference to commence projects, programmes for Enugu citizens

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Boko Haram: CSO kicks against alleged FG’s approval of N64bn for UNIMAID perimeter fence  By Gabriel Ewepu  ABUJA-A Pro-democracy and human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Sunday, kicked against alleged Federal Government’s approval of N64 billion for 27.3 kilometer perimeter fence project in University of Maiduguri due to incessant attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.  This was contained in a statement signed by the Convener, CN, Deji Adeyanju, which according to the group N64 billion was too exorbitant following the prevailing economic situation in the country.  The statement reads in part, “We condemn the Federal government’s proposed plan to construct a 27.3 Kilometer perimeter fence round University of Maiduguri at an exorbitant cost of N64 billion.  “The budgeted amount of money for a 27.3 Kilometer perimeter fence round the University of Maiduguri is over-bloated, exorbitant and overtly outrageous.  “We as an organization understand the fact that there’s a rising and ongoing insecurity in North-Eastern Nigeria where the university is located and the need for the Students and staff of the university to be protected, but the money being budgeted for the construction of 27.3 Kilometer Perimeter Fence round the institution is outrageous.  “The country currently, is surviving on borrowing and we have seen instances where money meant for projects like this are misappropriated or diverted into private pockets.  “You would recall that the Federal Government had begun the construction of the 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for the University of Maiduguri to check incessant attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.  “The project, which is valued at N64bn according to the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities in UNIMAID, Dr Dani Mamman, is to stop the terrorists who have been penetrating the North-East part of the institution’s campus.  “Dr Dani Mamman also stated that only the western and southern parts of UNIMAID campus were initially fenced.”  The group also alleged that the ending fight against insurgents in the North East region is traceable to beneficiaries of arms deal contracts.  “The war against insurgency has lingered enough and we believe that the Buhari led administration is not doing enough to tame these monsters killing and maiming our fellow compatriots. The war has turned into a franchise where elites who are beneficiaries of arms deal contracts would do everything to keep their arms and aid business afloat", it added.

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

A group called Concerned Enugu Stakeholders Forum Worldwide, CESFW, weekend, held an international virtual conference on commencing developmental projects and programmes for citizens of Enugu State.

The Coordinator, CESFW, Dr. Ogbonna Onyeisi, made this known in a statement signed him, where the group explained that the essence of the initiative was to unveiled Vision 2030 with the theme, ‘Think Home Initiative’, which is a 10-year development plan to transform lives of people at the grassroots and the urban in the State.

The statement further explained that the move became necessary due to the burden the government is shouldering alone hence needs support by well-meaning sons and daughters of the state at this point.

The statement also disclosed that CESFW’s Enugu Vision 2030 aims is to promote the SDGs 5-Ps  which focus on people, prosperity, planet, partnership, and peace in Enugu State, which are issues that concern every citizen of the world, including Concerned Enugu Stakeholders.

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According to the statement, the group has agreed to key into 17 thematic areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, as well as the effective implementation of its strategic plan of action.

The statement reads in part, “To kick start this vision in our own immediate environment and also in respect of the health protocols as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic, we had our first dialogue via Zoom online meeting on 28 July, moderated by Hon Uchechukwu Chukwuma, one of the initiators of Concerned Enugu Stakeholders Forum Worldwide, CESFW,   with four selected thematic areas: promotion of entrepreneurship and investments; security issues; healthcare service delivery; and women and youth development.

“Our future plans are to organize series of dialogues, workshops,  seminars, and conferences, interfacing with both public and private institutions in Enugu State with hope to bring the vision down to individuals, private and public institutions and community levels.

“CESFW on 28 and 29 July 2020 unveiled Vision 2030 with the theme, ‘Think Home Initiative’. Dr. Ogbonna Onyeisi,mni, Coordinator of the group said CESFW wishes to key into the 17 thematic areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs which include: no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy;

“Decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; reduction of inequality; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace, justice,  strong institutions; and partnerships for the goals.

“CESFW’s Enugu Vision 2030 aims to promote the SDGs 5-Ps, which focus on people, prosperity, planet, partnership, and peace in Enugu State. These are issues that concerned every citizen of the world, including the Concerned Enugu Stakeholders.”

According to the statement, future plans are of the group will be on organizing series of dialogues, workshops, seminars, and conferences, interfacing with both public and private institutions in Enugu State with hope to bring the vision down to individuals, private and public institutions and community levels.

Some of the resources persons including a Professor of Entrepreneurship, Prof. Vincent Onodugo, who was also a Guest Speaker at the Conference, in a paper titled, ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship and Creating Enabling Investment’ highlighted some issues and attitudes common among people in Enugu State and the realities that need to be tackled to effect the desired development objectives, which participants agreed with as it will no longer be sustainable with the notion that Enugu is a ‘civil servant State’.

A paper titled, ‘Enugu State Vision 2030 – Security Imperatives, was presented by a security expert, Sam Otoboeze, CPP, pointed out security threat in and around Enugu State, which was traced to border communities and youth unemployment. Otoboeze in his recommendation called for a Security Trust Fund, which every citizen of Enugu will be a contributor to.

On the second day of the virtual conference and dialogue, a former Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and also an alumnus of National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Dame Elizabeth Oyibo Agu, mni, presented a paper on ‘Woman and Youth Development’, which Agu pointed out implementation strategies and emphasis on the development of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, the hub in Enugu State to reduce youth unemployment.

She noted that if youths are engaged, women and society will also improve their living standard as most of the young people are their children, as she referred to ICT revolution in India that brought about a notable transformation in their communities, and that such can be done in Enugu State, which will boost the State’s economy and development.

READ ALSO: ENSG demolishes sinking three-storey building in Enugu

Prof. ED Nwobodo, the Chairman, Enugu State Management Board also did a paper presentation where he highlighted some challenges and opportunities for effective healthcare service delivery in Enugu State towards Vision 2030.

In his recommendation, he called for improvement in access to clean water in the State by the people, which the Vice President and Head of  Medical Collaboration of Naveen Health Technology, Dr. Chimezie Uche, suggested public-private partnership and outlined some salient approaches to achieve sustainable healthcare delivery in Enugu State with reference to how his company is collaborating with Anambra State, which Enugu State can also key into similar partnership, and a participant who also is a consultant with Udi Local Government Council, of the State, Prince Chris Amalu, supported what Uche emphasized.

Earlier, Chairman of Udi Local Government, Hon Pascal Agu, pledge to throw weight behind organizers of Enugu Vision 2030, which Agu indicated an interest in healthcare delivery in his local government.


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