Gov Otti Vows To Reduce Abia State’s Poverty Rate Below 30% In One Year

…Partners with EU, UNICEF, ILO 


Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti has said that his administration would partner the European Union(EU), UNICEF, and International Labour Organisation(ILO) to build a Sustainable Social Protection System aimed at reducing the state’s poverty rate to below 30% within the next year.


Governor Otti who stated this when officials of EU, UNICEF and ILO paid him a visit, expressed delight that Abia State is one of four selected states for the fully funded EU intervention project.

The Sustainable Social Protection System Programme is an EU funded project in partnership with UNICEF and ILO to build a robust, responsive and reliable social register for seamless planning and implementation of social support and other interventionist projects.


The Governor emphasized the importance of accurate data for planning and measuring poverty rates and expressed confidence in the team’s ability to create a reliable social register.

“We have struggled with the social register and I am happy you are talking about social register and social protection. There is nothing as important as data, because without data you cannot plan.


“So, we’ll do everything possible to ensure that you do your work and generate reliable data for the purpose other than social protection“, he said.

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Governor Otti while noting that his administration is desirous to ensure that the poverty rate in the state is reduced said government wants “to genuinely take people out of poverty and we want to generate a reliable number.


We want to see  the number and see the poverty rates go down even if the population is going  high. Once you have a reliable database it becomes easy to plan and for  you to measure“.

He therefore urged the development partners to visit the rural communities and enumerate people in order to generate reliable data for building a social register for Abia.


Governor Otti said his government is focused on creating an enabling environment for businesses to grow, generate employment and reduce the unemployment rate and added that the partnership is a significant move towards improving the livelihood of the people.

The Governor expressed delight in collaborating with the European Union and its partners and pointed out that Abia welcomes the opportunity for the International Labor Organization to join forces with the state in addressing the issues related to pension arrears which have accumulated over the years.

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In her speech, the Programme Manager for Social Protection, European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Miss Chioma Osuji, emphasized the project’s focus on enhancing the social register at both state and national levels noting that the initiative aims to fortify efforts in addressing multidimensional poverty, with collaboration between the EU, Unicef, and ILO.

Osuji said ; “This project is for the first time going to digitalise the process of accountability to ensure that we know the actual persons benefitting from the various aspects of social protection interventions.”


She said that the project would involve supporting the state to develope a social protection policy and working with state actors to ensure that the policy would be given a legal framework.


In his remark, a Health Specialist from UNICEF, Mr Olusoji Akuileye stressed the need for the integration of social protection into state government plans to effectively combat multidimensional poverty.

He said that the findings made while building the social register would be translated into a comprehensive plan that would be implemented in different sectors of the economy.

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Also, the Senior Programme Officer of ILO, Mrs Chinkere Emeka-Anuma, emphasized ILO’s commitment to building sustainable social protection systems that span an individual’s entire lifetime and pledged the Organization’s support to ensure the program’s sustainability as well as willingness to assist the state in addressing pension issues.


The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Blessing Felix, underscored the government’s deliberate efforts to transform the state, with a robust social protection system playing a crucial role.


She emphasized the present administration’s people-oriented approach, aimed at  significantly improving the livelihood of the people of Abia.

Wife of the Governor, Lady Priscilia Otti was present during the meeting.