The federal government has lauded Cross River State Government for demonstrating a strong commitment to the implementation of the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Commending the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, during a courtesy call along with her team, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, was full of praises for the Governor for the full implementation of the 17 goals, 169 indicators and 232 targets of the SDGs in the state.
In her words, “I am happy to note that Cross River State has already been demonstrating leadership and strong commitment to the implementation of SDGs. SDGs is about people. It is a universal call for action to end poverty, safeguard our planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the year 2030 and I’m happy that Cross River is already toeing this path.”
Continuing she said: “I want to commend His Excellency for his vision in all that you are doing especially in the empowerment of your people and investment in agriculture. You also talked about construction of Teachers’ Continuous Training College which you noted will not only train Nigerian teachers but teachers in sub-Saharan Africa and I must say that this indeed is a welcome development and it is very apt given the level of decay in the educational sub sector.”
Princes Adefulire also noted that “This will not only empower the teachers but will be translated into better learning which will have direct impact on our children and bring them at par with current realities. I like your interest in education which properly aligns with our activities as well as what you have done so far to achieve qualitative education because without education, they won’t be an end to poverty, disease and other things hampering our growth as a nation.”
Stressing the importance of the training facility in the overall development of children as most graduates are not employable, the SDG boss explained: “Some children are in school but they are not in school and some are out of school but they are in school. So, if they are not well taught, I’m sure they are not in school which is why we emphasis that we engage the right people to teach our children particularly at the kindergarten level.”
She further commended the state government for initiating a healthcare insurance scheme, “Ayade Care”, as well as the construction of three ultramodern referal hospitals in the three senatorial districts which she said will contribute significantly to improve the living conditions of the people.
Adefulire sued for closer ties with the state to deliver on the goals for the overall benefits of the citizenry.
Responding, Governor Ayade lauded the political will of President Muhhamadu Buhari at ensuring that every part of the country gets the desired democratic dividends, even as he pledged the readiness of the state to fulfil its parts.
Ayade who enumerated some of the machineries he has put in place to achieve the SDGs in the state hinted: “We have a connectivity between our Ministry driving SDGs by improving on the livelihood of the people.”
He explained further: “The applicability of SDG in our governance structure allows us the flexibility of developing while carrying our people along and I think that is the hallmark of the programme which must be supported at all levels.”
Continuing, he said: “SDG is the way to go. It’s the one catalytic balance between society pressure and self limit and I think I am now an apostle, I support it, I represent it and I speak strongly for SDGs.”
While urging the focal person to ensure adequate budgetary provision to the programme in the country, Ayade reasoned: “Let me use this medium to ask the Federal Government to increase its funding to SDG and of course increase budget performance particularly when it comes to SDG, because it deals directly with people and touches those who feel rejected.”