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Nigeria got UN back up

Nigeria got yesterday a promise from the United Nations (UN) – it will back her efforts to develop.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon spoke of the global body’s stand on Nigeria  in Abuja during a meeting with governors.
Ki-Moon arrived the country yesterday aboard an Air France flight at 4.15pm and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport by the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Amb. Bulus Lolo.
Also in the reception party were the UN Resident Coordinator, Daouda Toure, UNFPA Executive Director Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin and Special Representative of UN Secretary-General to Nigeria and West Africa Mr. Ibn Chambas.
The Secretary-General was driven to Transcorp Hilton, where he met with the governors under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
The dialogue with the governors was held under the theme: “Pathways to a New Nigeria – the Role of Sub-national Governments.”
At the opening session before the meeting went into a closed door, Ki-Moon expressed confidence in Nigeria’s ability to overcome the “crucial moment”, given the  vigour at which the country is confronting the challenges.
Ki-Moon noted the important role of the governors, especially as they make policies and implement programmes for the people.
He said: “This is a crucial moment for Nigeria. And you have to take crucial steps to move the country forward. The United Nations is ready to help you. We have to work together to move the country forward.
“You (the governors) understand the peoples’ challenges and you have the power to help the people on education, power, development, institution building, security and others
“Nigeria occupies a pivotal place in the comity of nations. This is time of hope when we have a lot of challenges.
“I want to commend you for a successful election. Elections should serve as a rally point for the people. But many often, it serves as a means of destruction. Nigeria has done well.”
He said he hoped that the governors would use the sustainable development goal for the development of their states.
The NGF Chairman, Zamfara State Governor Abdul-Aziz Abubakar Yari urged the UN Secretary General to consider funding the Sustainable Development Programme.
The Sustainable Development Goals is the successor programme of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ends this year.
He said: “As you may be aware, most states now anchor their developments along the lines of the MDGs which have been a game changer in the successful efforts to bring solutions to bear on the main problems that bedevil developing nations.
“As the MDG programme draws to a close this year, let me assure you of the eagerness to again key into the successor programme, the Sustainable Development Goals. We are ready to embrace this programme with the same zeal as soon as it is unveiled,” he said.
 He added, “In view of that, we urging the Secretary General to consider funding the programme together with the dissemination of the human development reports.
The NGF chair also reassured the UN scribe of the collective resolve of the governors to eradicate polio from the country.
According to him, governors and other stakeholders are working tirelessly through the instrumentality of campaigns,  more thorough vaccinations and deployment of critical resources to ensure that by 2017 Nigeria is certified polio free.
He added that Nigeria had made unprecedented stride in the fight against this sc ourge recording a full year without any report of polio in any part of the country.
Other governors at the meeting are Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Simeon Lalong (Plateau), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Mohammed Jubrilla Bindow (Adamawa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Mohammed Abubakar (Jigawa), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Idris Wada (Kogi).
Former Ekiti State Governor  Kayode Fayemi was also in attendance.
The UN Scribe will today meet with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock Villa.
Ban will also lay a wreath in memory of the 21 persons who died at the UN House, Abuja bombing in 2011, as part of activities to mark the fourth anniversary of the incident.
The UN scribe will also have lunch with members of the business community with the theme: “The Role of Nigeria Business and the Economy in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and Addressing Climate Change.”
He will meet the Bring Back Our Girls group which demands government action to free 219 abducted schoolgirls held now for nearly 500 days.
The Secretary-General is billed to deliver a keynote address at a “Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights, Development, Climate Change and Countering Violent Extremism.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to chair the dialogue at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ms Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, is among those on Ki-Moon’s entourage.

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