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Ondo has lowest poverty level in Nigeria – FG

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The federal government has disclosed that Ondo State has the lowest poverty level in the country with 27 percent.

The figure was presented during the launch of Nigeria’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey in Abuja on Thursday.

The survey was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

According to the report, the measure used to calculate the figure was based on Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with five components of health, living standard, education, security and unemployment.

The survey, which reveled that 63 percent of persons within Nigeria, 133 million, are living in poverty, identified Sokoto State as having the highest poverty level among the states in the country with 91 percent while Ondo has the lowest with 27 percent.

This is even as the state also received an Award of Excellence on the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) for being a very good performer on Fiscal Transparency and Accountability.

The award was received in Abuja at an event tagged, “Federal Government of Nigeria/World Bank States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) recognition dinner with Governors/Awards Night.”

Reacting to the development, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said his administration has continued to prioritise the need to lift the people of the state out of poverty.

He noted that his administration’s programmes and policies are tailored towards addressing the needs of the people and providing succor for even generations unborn.

“It is clear from the measure used to calculate the figure which was based on Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with five components of health, living standard, education, security and unemployment.

“The Governor Akeredolu administration has continued to record giant strides in all these areas, thereby reducing poverty levels in the state and promoting more economic activities.

“On health, this administration inherited two Mother and Child hospitals in Akure and Ondo town which services had already been suspended on account of backlog of debts incurred on consumables, most significantly on drugs.

“Governor Akeredolu revived services at these facilities and expanded the mother and child hospitals from just two to seven across the three senatorial districts of the state.

“Similarly, On the 6th of February, 2018, Governor Akeredolu signed into Law the bill establishing the Ondo State Contributory Health Commission (ODCHC) and the Ondo State Contributory Health Scheme (ODCHS). The ODCHC has a five bespoke health insurance products for all strata of the teeming population of Ondo state under the ODCHS cover, including the Abiyamo Maternal & Child Health Insurance Scheme (AMCHIS).

“The Abiyamo Maternal & Child Health Insurance Scheme (AMCHIS) is a State Equity Scheme for two sets of Vulnerables – Pregnant women and Under-5 children. This program is fully funded by the State Government.

“Governor Akeredolu launched this scheme on the 3rd of December, 2019. Since the inception of the scheme, it has made provision of maternal and child care free and sustainable. It gives access to Antenatal care, delivery (including Caesarean section), post-natal care for the mother (up to 6 weeks after delivery), neonatal care (first 30 days of baby’s life) and treatment of common illnesses in children till they attain the age of five years. Beneficiaries do not pay for services.

“The pre-qualification criterion to enjoy this scheme is the Kaadi Igbeayo (Ondo State Residency Card), which is issued to residents of Ondo State by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). Governor Akeredolu has also ensured that the card is issued at NO COST to pregnant women willing to become AMCHIS beneficiaries.

“It should also be known that the premium for AMCHIS is solely paid by the Ondo State Government and there is a state budgetary line yearly to this effect. Till date, AMCHIS has recorded over 22,500 beneficiaries (pregnant women and children below five years of age).

“Since this scheme was launched on the 3rd of December, 2019, a total number of 24,678 including Pregnant Women and Children under 5 have benefited till date. At the Mother and Child Hospital, Akure alone, over 4,842 total number of Pregnant Women have accessed Ante-Natal Care till date with 3,432 total deliveries.

“As we speak, there is an ongoing construction of a modern world-class 250-bed University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital complexes in Akure and Ondo town respectively. This is aside the regular provision of medical equipment at the teaching hospital and Mother and Child hospitals.

“On Education, Governor Akeredolu has reconstructed over 800 public primary schools in the state with perimeter fence and modern equipment. This has increased enrollment in the public schools and encouraged parents and guardians to send their children or wards to schools with ease.

“The adequate security in the state has continued to attract investors. The hospitality business is growing in Akure, the state capital, and other parts of the state. Over the last five years, Governor Akeredolu has regularly equipped the police, Army, Navy, Civil Defence, the DSS and other security agencies in the state.

“The establishment of the Amotekun corps has reinforced confidence among our people. The usual fear that accompanied inter-state trading and other economic activities within the state has been eroded by the galant efforts of Amotekun corps. Ondo is safe for business.

“In Ore, the Ondo-Linyi industrial hub which has also continued to provide jobs and oil the state’s economy is another giant leap taken by the Governor Akeredolu administration. Today, there are over eight companies including textile industry, MDF factory, HDF factory, cassava to ethanol pant, Truck assembly plant, and other investments at the industrial hub.

“The Ondo State Government in partnership with the Linyi Municipal in China made this happened. Many indigenes and dweller of the state are employed into these industries and many more. Just as the growing hospitality industry in the state are providing jobs for the unemployed.

“Unlike before when investors drove for hours to come to Ondo State, there are three major airlines that fly Lagos-Akure-Abuja route. Undoubtedly, these have promoted investment opportunities, driven provision of employment and promote economic activities in the Sunshine State.

“At the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service where Governor Akeredolu built the first of its kind Revenue House, over 500 young graduates have been employed. This is aside the recruitment of over one thousand teachers, over 425 health workers including Consultants, Nursing officers, Staff Nurses/Midwives, Medial doctors, Pharmacists, Radiographers among others.

“Also, the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has recruited 804 health personnel. The UNIMEDTH wasn’t left out. Over 400 medical personnel have so far been recruited. At the Mother and Child hospital in Akure, there are 434 health workers presently working at the facility.”

“Lastly, the infrastructural development in the state is massive. Over 274.11km of roads have been completed across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State while 120km are ongoing.

Among the completed roads awaiting commissioning are the 4.5km Agadagba Obon-New Ajapa Road in Ese-Odo Local Government Area; 10.0km Okitipupa-Igbokoda Bye pass, Okitipupa Local Government Area; 3.0km Oke Igbo Township roads, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government; 8.05km Ikaramu-Akunnu Road in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area and 1.6km Ikaro Township Road, in Ose Local Government Area.”

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