Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
As the European Union €63.5 million funded eight-year project has come to a successful completion, Nigeria has been urged to invest in children and youths.
Describing them as the most valuable in the society, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Keri Karlsen, stated this at the EU End-of-Project Dissemination Seminal in Abuja recently, themed: Improving Immunisation Governance: Progress, Challenges, Good Practices, Lessons and Recommendations for the Future, held in Abuja.
According to him, “our youths and children are our most valuable assets, and we have to make sure that they have the opportunities that they need to carry this society.”
He further stated that giving the alarming number of children still having very difficult health conditions, with one million children below the ages of five years in Nigeria dying every year, it was very important to envision getting 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“We know that there is still a long way to go, so today is a moment of reflection. We are looking at what we have done and what we have achieved and also what can be done better.
“We believe in integrated approach where social services, health and education must be at the forefront. But combined also is investment in human capital, making sure that people can live in peace, with opportunities for job creation for youths,” said Karlsen.
The UN envoy noted that it was not possible to solve all the problems in Nigeria with international donor funds, especially with Nigeria’s rising population.
The EU €63.5 million funded eight-year project was implemented between 2011 and 2019 by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in 23 states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory.