The Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; are among other personalities from the South-east, who are billed to attend a-two day summit in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects cited in the zone since the past 13 years would be x-rayed.
The summit, which is a concluding part of the evaluation of the impact if MDG projects in the South- east communities in the past 13 years, is also aimed at postulating on the achievements or otherwise of the MDGs as the programme winds up 2015.
Organised by the Nigerian Union of Union Journalists (NUJ), South-east Zone in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration and Local Government Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and Global Research and Development Limited, the summit will equally feature the inauguration of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and launch of a N50 billion MDGs support trust fund for South-east communities.
A statement from the organisers, Prof. Fab Onah for UNN and Mr. Chris Isiguzo for NUJ, stated that communities in the zone that have not yet returned their completed questionnaires are advised to do so immediately.
The Support Trust Fund is the deliverable component of an Independent Assessment Study of the Impact of 12 Years of MDGs in the South-east Communities carried out under the auspices of Department of Public Administration and Local Government of UNN with the collaborations of NUJ in the South-east and Global Research and Development Limited.
The funds so realised would be distributed to all South-east communities to tackle areas of MDGs Critical attention identified by the research in areas as water boreholes, health, education and poverty alleviation.
Inauguration of the BoT for the fund will be under the chairmanship of Senator Uche Chukwumerije, while the Chairman/CEO, Peace Mass Transit, Dr. Sam Maduka Onyeishi; and Chairman of the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) in Imo State, Hon. Jasper Ndubuaku, will serve as co-chairmen.
The event is scheduled to take place at Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, Owerri, Imo State on February 20 to 21.
Keynote addresses will be presented by Anyim and the Special Adviser to the President on MDGs, while the opening address would be read by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
Guest Speakers include Okonjo-Iweala; Director, Institute of Development Studies, UNN, Enugu Campus, Prof. Osita Ogbu; Senator Chris Ngige; Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ben Uwajumogu; and Prof. C. Nwachukwu of the Department of Political Science, Imo State University, while former Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji, and the Director General Ikemba Ojukwu Centre are among the dignitaries to handle the Inauguration of the Board of Trustees.
State Advisory Committees for each state in the zone would be inaugurated at the summit.
In preparation for the success of the project, questionnaires were issued to all South-east autonomous communities. Also community leaders, political leaders, church leaders, and all southeast stakeholders are asked to ensure that one person represents their community at this summit as such participant will become his community Project Liaison Officer.
Additionally, a coordinator of Igbos in Diaspora, a Member of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Oganiru Ndigbo based in South Africa have been appointed for the mobilisation of Igbos in Diaspora towards the drive of the N50 billion for South-east Communities in one year.
Oganiru Ndigbo Foundation and Ohanaeze Ndigbo are among the partners in the project. On how the N50 billion is to realised, it is expected that 5 million Igbo Nationals at home and in Diaspora will be mobilised to make willing donation of N10,000 or $100 per person in one year.
All stakeholders, traditional rulers, President Generals, Church Leaders, and South East Academia Community were asked to ensure that their communities are represented at the summit and Inauguration Programme.