Imo people are enterprising, Uzodimma tells UNDP

…as state receives N195.225m development support

Governor Hope Uzodinma has described the people of Imo States as enterprising, as he welcomed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Economic Revitalisation Support Programme extended to two Nigeria’s Southeast states of Imo and Abia.

Uzodimma spoke while receiving N195.225 million, being the UNDP support to Imo, from Ahuna Eziakonwa, the UNDP regional bureau director, on Monday.

According to the governor, the programme is important because it was taking place at a time Imo has lost a lot as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought businesses to their knees, left many people dead, challenged the government and brought about a spike in the number of orphanage homes in the state.

He said: “It is not easy to eradicate poverty. But it is possible to check poverty so that it does not become cancerous.”

Uzodimma added that his government has put in place measures to check poverty and high vulnerability of the people, adding that the intervention of the UNDP in the state would go a long way in providing direction for the army of youths yearning for what to do as well as encourage women inclusion in the socio-economic scheme of things.

Governor Uzodimma reminded the UNDP that Imo has a teeming youth population that are both enterprising and innovative, but who require some encouragement to unleash their full potentials. He advised the organisers of the programme to “be painstaking in identifying those who are truly vulnerable,” noting that “if the programme is religiously implemented it will go a long way in meeting the expectations of the UNDP.

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“Work to ensure that the original objective of the programme is achieved. Follow the rules and of the programme the way it has been designed. Those involved in the implementation should ensure that it is done in the way it has been designed because the money to be disbursed seems a lot to the real vulnerable ones.”

The governor further advised: “Our people must understand what others are doing globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our case is not peculiar. We must shun acts that will discourage partners from intervening in our situation. When you kill the economy you are committing murder. The truth is that the world is moving without Imo.”

“We are not created to be poor even though the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Imo State has the highest unemployment rate in Nigeria. We are enterprising people and do not have a begging mentality. What UNDP has done for us will go a long way in further unearthing the enterprise and innovation in our people and encourage them to do more for them.”

The UNDP regional bureau director, Ahuna Eziakonwa thanked Governor Uzodimma for hosting the programme and for remembering to include many women in his government. She said the UNDP was keen on partnering with Imo to ensure that the youths and women benefit from the intervention and also, to ensure that businesses stay alive.

Christina Ude, the special adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Focal Person, NSIPs, Christina Ude had welcomed the delegates and wished them a successful outing. She also thanked the governor for his passion for fighting poverty and diseases through his numerous social intervention programmes.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of a UNDP symbolic cheque of N195.225 million to the governor by Eziakonwa for the would-be beneficiaries of the programme.

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