Imo Government, in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund, has pledged to implement the action plan for the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state.
UNICEF’s Chief of Enugu Field Office, Mr Ibrahim Conteh, said this during a one-day meeting to incorporate state-level activities into the consolidated FGM elimination action plans held in Owerri on Monday.
Conteh, represented by UNICEF’s FGM consultant, Mr Benjamin Mbakwem, said that state level coordination as well as data collection and utilisation would be strengthened so as to promote response to the action plan.
He called on Local Government Area (LGA) representatives to disseminate the message to their various communities for a more efficient implementation of the plan.
“Implementation of the action plan begins at the grassroots, the Local Government level and a lot of data collection and utilisation will be needed to achieve the desired objectives at that level.
“Our state level partners will review the consolidated LGA FGM elimination action plan, make input and identify activities to support its implementation based on their sectoral mandates, core competence and comparative advantage,” he said.
Speaking, Mrs Julia Igwe, a representative of the state government, pledged readiness to incorporate state level activities into UNICEF’s plan.
Igwe, from the office of the Principal Secretary to the state government, assured delegates at the meeting that government would provide the enabling environment for full implementation of the action plan.
Also, Mr Nazzy Njoku, Director of the National Orientation Agency in Imo, said that necessary public enlightenment would be carried out by the agency in line with the resolutions of the meeting.
Njoku thanked LGA and state partners for their commitment to the elimination of FGM and expressed the optimism that it would soon be a thing of the past.
One of the participants from Oguta LGA, Mrs Gloria Ike, urged traditional and religious leaders to take the message to their local communities and thanked the organisers of the programme for thinking toward the rural areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that delegates for the meeting were drawn from nine Imo LGAs – Oguta, Ikeduru, Ehime-Mbano, Ngor-Okpala, Njaba, Ideato-North, Ihitte-Uboma, Isu, and Owerri West. (NAN)