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Stakeholders seek more funding for health, education




Stakeholders in the education and health sectors in Enugu state have canvassed more funding for the two sectors to enable them render better service and contribute to the development of the state.

They insisted that the use of public educational and health facilities in the state have remained low when compared with other states, attributing it to poor funding and management. They said that residents have patronised private health and educational facilities more than the ones provided by the government in the two key areas in the state.

The development was in reaction to a survey conducted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), titled, “Citizens’ Perception survey, 2015” for Enugu state on four key areas of Governance and Voice, Education and Health, recently presented to the public in Enugu.

Dr. Elizabeth Omoluabi, a Principal Investigator in the DFID, who presented the draft report, said it was a measure to track changes in the citizens’ perceptions on a number of issues, stressing that the survey conducted in June last year would also help the government in her planning.

She explained that Enugu was compared with 10 other states including Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Anambra, Katsina, Niger, Yobe and Zamfara in the survey as the DFID’s governance and service delivery was currently focused on the states mentioned.

On the outcomes of the survey, she stated that the average level of satisfaction related to governance service delivery in Enugu by June 2015 was slightly lower than the average satisfaction across the ten states.

“The service with which the citizens were least satisfied was road maintenance and the highest satisfaction recorded was related to keeping the community safe. In general, it appears citizens in Enugu are less satisfied with government service delivery than in the 10 states taken together. Compared to service delivery, citizens across Enugu were more critical than the 10 states combined, when regarding government’s transparency, offering citizens a chance to participate in defining policy priorities or even informing them of such priorities”, she said.

On education, the report stated that respondents in households with children attending school are generally less satisfied with the quality of education and the school environment than respondents from the 10 states.

It stated that there was near perfect gender parity in both primary and secondary schools, while in the 10 states combined preference in secondary education appears to be given to boys, stressing however, that from the survey, about 39.9 per cent of the children are attending private schools in the state than the 10 others combined which it put at 19 per cent.

On health, the report observed that though the use of public health facilities was lower in Enugu than in the 10 states, its use however, does not vary considerably across wealth quintiles, adding that  there was more access to private health facilities in the state than in the other ten state combined.Using various tables and graphs, Omoluabi told stakeholders at the meeting why serious attention should be focused on the four key areas by any government that wished to develop and grow her economy, insisting that good governance must put into consideration the feelings of the people.

“Citizens’ perceptions point to important views on government and on things that are happening and that leaders and development partners must take into account in their work. Citizens perception Survey 2015 results can serve as a rich vantage point from which to assess government’s impact and open avenues for debate and triangulation with other data”, she stated.

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