Rivers partners with UNICEF for 100% immunization coverage

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– As Wike orders payment of 3 months salary arrears on LGAs

The Rivers State government has expressed etermination to achieve 100 per cent immunization in the state. The state is therefore set to partner with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as fast as possible.

This is as the state governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered for the immediate payment of three months salary arrears of the local government workers in the state. He said so while swearing in 15 Caretaker Committee Chairmen in the state.   

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the UNICEF Country Representative, Mohammed Fall, to the Government House Port Harcourt on Thursday, March 1, 2018, Gov Wike directed relevant Rivers State Government agencies to step up their performance for the expected improvement in key areas. 

He said that the State Government has established structures to ensure improvements in the areas of immunization, children and maternal healthcare as well as sanitation.  

 Wike said; “We must progressively improve in all the areas where we are yet to attain 100 percent.  We must take vital steps to ensure we move at a pace where everyone will be happy.”  

Earlier, the Country Representative of UNICEF, Mohammed Fall, sought for the leadership of Gov Wike for consistent growth in the areas of the reduction of child and maternal mortality, improved immunization, and breastfeeding so that Rivers State will be a reference point in Nigeria and the sub-region. 

He regretted that the statistics for Nigeria in the areas of maternal mortality, child mortality, and access to primary education were not encouraging.  He said if Nigeria attained the Sustainable Development Goals, it would impact positively on the continent.

Meanwhile, Gov Wike has ushered in a new set of 15 out of the 23 local council caretaker committee chairmen in the state who were screened and confirmed by the State House of Assembly.

Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House Port Harcourt on Thursday, Governor Wike charged the caretaker committee chairmen to pay the salaries of December 2017, January 2018 and February 2018.

He explained that the funds were not released to the immediate past council administrators because the tenures of the former councils had expired. The governor said: “The payment of salaries of workers must be given priority attention.  As you take over the councils , pay the outstanding three months salaries. Do not pay the salaries in batches. We did not release the funds because the tenure of the former councils had expired “.

Governor Wike charged the urban local government areas to focus on sanitation of different suburbs. He urged the chairmen to engage youths to promote environmental sanitation. 

He also advised the newly appointed caretaker committee chairmen to work with security agencies to maintain security across the state. “Don’t go to your local government area and take actions that will negatively affect the security infrastructure in the local government “. Wike stated that any caretaker committee chairman involved in using council funds to service his political godfather will be sanctioned.

In an interview, the caretaker committee chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Beatrice Awala, talked about plans to unite the local government and ensure that good governance was entrenched in the area.