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News Update (December 19, 2011 12:53 PM...)

Jonathan urges states, local governments to eliminate waste to meet MDGs


Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday warned that for the country to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, waste in governance must be eliminated by the three tiers of government.

Speaking when he launched the MDGs Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) to Local Governments, President Jonathan also tasked the Federal, State and Local Governments to also fashion out ways of generating more income to attain the goals.

Jonathan, who was represented at the occasion by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo said we have two choices here: to continue with the way we have always managed our resources and not achieve the Millennium Development Goals or to make painful adjustments at all levels of government so that we can accommodate those expenditures that have a direct bearing to the masses of our people that the MDGs are targeted to uplift. According to the President the MDGs had provided a veritable means of collaboration between the three tiers of government in meeting the nations developmental objectives devoid of friction. Similarly, President Jonathan noted that the Conditional Grant Scheme being launched at the Local Government level was a vehicle of choice which brings the three tiers of government closer to share experiences. He charged all stakeholders to ensure that conditions of accountability transparency and community engagement are complied with and monitored towards the realisations of the objectives of the Scheme, stressing that the administration was built on the strict observance of the rule of law.

In her presentation, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precocious Gbeneol noted that the CGS was meant to accelerate governments efforts at meeting the MDGs before 2015, by empowering the selected LGAs to carry out their constitutional responsibilities that would impact on over 25 million people. She further stated that the Scheme would strengthen intergovernmental collaboration, adding that it had been described by International Partners as the highest MDGs National Government scale up of investment in the world.

Dr. Gbeneol, said that the first phase of the Scheme would cover 113 LGs from the 36 States including the FCT and would be extended to the other LGs in phases from next year. Goodwill messages came from the National Assembly, United Nations System in Nigeria, DFID and the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on MDGs, Professor Jeffery Sachs.

Vice President Sambo performed the presentation of cheques to six LGAs selected across the six geopolitical zones of the country. He also launched pick-up vans for the MDGs.

Story by Victor Iluyemi (info@worldstagegroup.com)

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