…As ministry partners SOMTEC

The Commissioner for Information and State Orientation has revealed government’s plan to return back to school out of school children in the state.

Barr. Uchenna Orji, disclosed that the targeted number for a start is 50,000 out of school children.

He stated this in his office during an advocacy visit paid on him by Social Mobilization Technical Committee on UNICEF Programme in Ebonyi state, on Friday November 1, 2019.

Noting; “the governor is doing a lot in the area of returning out of school children back to school. We are targeting 50, 000 number for a start.

We will make sure that we comb the entire state to bring back to school all the children who have been out of school because of the issue of finance and lack of orientation,” he added.

Orji assured SOMTEC that the ministry of information will partner with it to ensure that its objectives are achieved.

Adding; “This ministry will work with you actively to ensure that you achieve your objectives. I have no doubt that the Gov. Umahi’s administration is prepared to work with you because this administration has done a lot in the area of social intervention in Ebonyi State and beyond.

“The state government has done enough in addressing the issue of child abuse, while the programmes of Her Excellency, the wife of the governor have addressed quite a number of matters including violence against persons and that very law has really tackled a lot of issues, as well as social vices against children and mothers.

“I don’t need to also tell you what the government is dong to ensure that cultists are meant to repent, and if they don’t they would be shown the way out of the state. The necessary campaigns have been carried out, and if any of them repents, there is empowerment programme for such person. These are incentives for cultists who have repented.

“Advocacy is the key and orientation is very important, if the people are not given orientation of course, they will be deformed in terms of what they should know. I’m very much prepared to move this ministry to the field to ensure that we assist you and that people are given orientation” he stated.

The commissioner further urged SOMTEC Ebonyi state, to come up with the requirements for UNICEF to give the committee technical and financial assistance to ensure that advocacy is carried out effectively, adding that if it requires counterpart funding, that the state government will do something to ensure that UNICEF funds the programmes of SOMTEC to achieve its objectives.

He promised to give SOMTEC the necessary support in the area of airing their programmes, “But beyond this, we shall be a part of the drive of this advocacy and anytime you call upon us we will assist you both logistically and being in the field with you and letting the people know the importance of your programmes in the state.

Orji required also a robust proposal on the objectives of SOMTEC, what it has done so far, its constraints, and what government can do to call the attention of UNICEF to see how they can assist.

On her part, the UNICEF Desk Officer, Udu Chineye Azu, pointed out that the purpose for the advocacy was to make the commissioner aware of effort to reactivate the SOMTEC Desk Office in the ministry and to solicit support of the commissioner to carry out more activities which will in turn attract recognition from UNICEF.

She pleaded with the commissioner for SOMTEC to be funded to enable the committee carry out its functions of child protection and survival and to help the committee reach its target audience through the provision of vehicles for sensitization when needed, also, to approve the committee’s proposal on nutrition and effects of cultism.

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