UNICEF Appoints Cross River State Deputy Governor As Steering Committee Chairman

In Breaking News, International News, Politics

By Joseph Abasi-Abasi, Nigerian Tribune

Cross River Deputy Governor Rt. Hon. Peter Odey has been appointed Chairman, State Steering Committees to provide a 5-year development plan for the State.

UNICEF Chief of Field, Enugu, Dr. Olusoji Akinleye, with the Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF Nigeria, Dr. Hamidou Poufon, Tuesday, announced the appointment when they visited him in his office in Calabar.

Akinleye who was accompanied by the retired Permanent Secretary of State Planning Commission, Rev. U. J. Ugbe, and other relevant MDAs bosses, said they were in Cross River State on the mandate of Cristian Mundate, a great fan of the State, who gave the team the mandate to continue to engage with the State.

“Having met with the Governor, Sen Bassey Edet Otu, and his wife, to discuss their vision of the government for the State,” Akinleye said they realized that the vision correlated very well with the mandate of UNICEF which is to ensure good life for the vulnerable people of Cross River State.

“Consequently, by engaging as a critical stakeholder, the deputy governor as chairman of the State Steering Committees, is to provide strategic leadership of the state development plan,” he said.

He further informed the deputy governor that UNICEF had engaged a team of international consultants who have started work by engaging the stakeholders.

While informing the stakeholders that they had met with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly in order for the process to be institutionalized beyond the tenure of this administration, the Chief of Field Office said that a template has been set on how the process is going to move.

According to him, the House of Assembly need to give it legal backing so that it becomes a process for developing the State and not a one-off process.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary (retired) of State Planning Commission, Rev. Ugbe said the State Planning Commission in partnership with UNICEF agreed on the need for an indigenous State Development Plan tailored to meet the peculiar development needs of all sectors in the State.

He said that in the organogram of the plan, the deputy governor will serve as the Chairman of the Steering Committee with all the Commissioners as members and representatives from the State House of Assembly.

Reacting to his appointment, the deputy governor, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey said that having worked with the UN in the past and being involved in the process that saw the signing of the Social Protection Bill into law in 2015, he will bring his wealth of experience to bear and give UNICEF and other stakeholders all the support they need to give Cross Riverians the much-needed development.

Those present at the occasion were Permanent Secretary, CRS Ministry of Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Mbong Ausaji, Permanent Secretary, Budget Office Mr. Oko Bassey Aqua, Statistician-General of Cross River State, Dr. Josephat Ogar, Director Planning, Mr. Kingsley Eyibio, amongst others.

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