The year 2012 ended on a good note in the Nigeria’s office of Millennium Development Goals when three local government areas from each state received N100 million each in counterpart funding with additional N100 million each for various projects and programmes that could directly benefit the victims of natural and man-induced disasters and other vulnerable groups.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, Dr. Precious Gbeneol had disclosed that the 2012 CGS funds to the states would be utilised for pro-poor interventions in affected areas. According to her, the projects being executed with the funds will have positive effects on those affected by the flood as they include hostel blocks, rehabilitation of small town water schemes and construction of new small town water schemes.
Dr. Gbeneol made the disclosure in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, while commissioning MDGs ambulances, which would be used in the local communities for pregnant mothers and sick children to step up the needed services towards meeting the MDGs. She also gave an assurance of her office’s preparedness to render support to those displaced by floods across the country.
MDGs’ intervention with presentation of relief materials to victims at the camp of internally displaced persons were in realisation that devastating flooding in states across the country could reverse some of the gains already made in the areas of poverty reduction, improvement in the health of children and mothers as well as access to water and sanitation in the affected areas.
In the course of assessing and mitigating the effect of the flood, the presidential aide and her team visited flood victims in Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Delta.
The office is currently encouraging offices of MDGS in states to partner with their respective local chapters of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in mobilising health resources as a precautionary measure against the risk of epidemic resulting from the flooding. Other relevant stakeholders are being engaged in the areas of access to affordable staple food, water and sanitation for the benefits of the needy.
Towards the end of the year, the MDG Office engaged the services of 124 technical assistants for local government MDGs projects throughout the federation. The Office actually unveiled 64 new technical assistants who were directly employed and 60 existing officers were retained to take charge of millennium development goals (MDGs) Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) in local government areas across the country ahead of the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the MDGs targets.
States and local governments under the conditional grants scheme are expected to provide matching funds to the Federal Government MDGs debt relief grant to step up the execution of MDGs projects in the rural areas where the MDGs indices are low.
Gbeneol had said that apart from 113 local government areas (LGAs) were the MDGs conditional grants scheme was already ongoing, additional 148 local governments were added for 2012 thus bringing the total number of local governments under the MDGs conditional grant scheme to 261.
Due to the success of the Conditional Grants Scheme, the Economic Confidential finds out that more state governments had responded by providing their counterpart funding for the 2012 projects. It is also discovered that a lot of jobs are ongoing in most of the Local government councils across the country.