Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has restated the commitment of his administration to the existing counterpart funding arrangement between the state government and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The decision is to enable the interventionist agency perform more complementary role in tackling the development needs of the state.
The Governor, who spoke during the unveiling of the state MDGs Implementation Report in Government House, Yenagoa, assured that government would do everything within its reach to ensure that it maintains a clear standing in the payment of counterpart funds despite the dwindling resources.
Describing the performance of the Bayelsa Office of the MDGs as impressive,Governor Dickson commended the State Focal Person and his Senior Special Assistant on MDGs, Mr Embeleakpo Apere for complementing government’s efforts with the execution of grassroots-oriented projects across the state.
The Governor, who particularly expressed delight at an ongoing poultry project, however, directed the state MDGs Team to focus more attention on the building of health posts in rural areas as well as invest in agriculture to stimulate the local economy.
He also directed the Team to liaise with the state Ministry of Health for government to take delivery of all medical equipment such as dialysis machines, incubators and mobile scanners already supplied to the state under the MDGs scheme.
His words: “I’m very excited at the poultry facility that the MDGs has built and from what you have said it’s almost at the point of completion. I commend you all for your efforts but we need to do more. We all know that our state is grappling with the issue of shortfall in revenues, but that will not make us to shy away from fulfilling our counterpart obligation.
“This administration will continue to work closely with the MDGs office to enable it complete its very wonderful array of projects that we have seen particularly in the area of provision of potable water in our communities, building and effectively running health posts and investment in agriculture to stimulate the local economy.”
Earlier in his presentation, the State Focal Person of Millennium Development Goals, Mr Embeleakpo Apere, attributed the achievements of his office to the prompt support it has always received from the state government in terms of meeting its counterpart funding obligation.
According to Mr Apere, the state MDGs programme which started in 2008 had been practically moribund despite huge financial investments until the inception of the present administration that made its impact felt across the state as there is hardly any community without a functional MDGs project.
He enumerated some of the projects on ground to include provision of potable water, primary schools and health facilities such as the ultra-modern Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/AIDS Diagnostic and Research Centre located within the premises of 500-bed Hospital Complex among other achievements, which he noted have placed the state on a vantage position to consolidate on the MDGs gains under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The State Focal Person added that the Diagnostic and Research Centre, which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, though yet to be put to use, is capable of serving the entire South-South region, and therefore requested the Governor to direct the immediate takeover of the facility by the state ministry of health.
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