Cross River Ministry of Social Welfare: A Hide Out For Street Children, Mad People

In Breaking News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

That Cross River State is reputed for its cleanliness the world over is not news, what is however news presently is how some ministries defy government orders on the clean and green environment policy.

This is what is happening presently at the state headquarters of the ministry of social welfare and community development, Calabar.

The ministry which is one of the few that drive the core programs of the Imoke administration in the state is now a hide out for street children and mad people because of the ease of accessibility created by the broken perimeter fence.

The perimeter fence shielding the ministry building collapsed since last year and efforts to fix it has been stalled since then. Street children, mad people and other stranded persons have turned
the ministry building into a hide out.

Project HOPE, a Cross River State government safety net program for the aged and that of COMFORT which is another safety net program for pregnant women and children under the age of five, is been driven by this ministry.

The ministry also houses the pet project of the state first lady’s Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization, POWER incubator center.

The center according to our findings was commissioned by Nigeria’s First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to train women on various skills and empower them to be self dependent.

The perimeter fence which used to check unwarranted access to the ministry and the ministry of women affairs collapsed in June 2012 after a heavy down pour. The fence was pulled down along side that of the Presbyterian and Hope Wadell.

Since then, despite its proximity to the seat of power and the police headquarters, nobody seems to worry about rebuilding the fence with all the attendant implications.

Checks by crossriverwatch show that the ministry has been reminded several times by officials from the state environmental protection agency but nothing has been done since June 2012.

What is more worrisome about this development is how mad people have now turned the place to their home while street children sneak into the ministry to pass the nights and defecate especially on weekends.

Information officers in the ministry were unwilling to talk to crossriverwatch on the matter but one person in the office who volunteered to talk to us on condition of anonymity said the ministry has been reminded several times but nothing was done, particularly during the ‘ember’ months when the whole building and its fence along the major route were supposed to be renovated and painted.

Efforts by crossriverwatch to speak with the commissioner for social welfare and community development, Patricia Endely on the matter were not successful as all calls to her GSM phone said her phone was switched off.

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