It was like a reunion of long-lost brothers when a UNICEF team paid a courtesy call on Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State.
It was a meeting of like minds as jokes were thrown, banters were made and the atmosphere was most convivial as UNICEF reunites with Imo after a long hiatus.
The team from the Enugu field office led by Dr Ibrahim Conte never had such rousing reception in Imo in a long while.
During the immediate past regime, they never got official reception, state offices were in disarray and counterpart funding was story by moonlight.
Dr Conte said so much but being first a diplomat, he spoke in ‘diplomatese’.
This elicited a jocular exchange between Gov Ihedioha and Dr Conte.
Gov. Ihedioha: Dr. Conte are you saying Imo is up to date in her counterpart funding, or are you writing off the backlog?
Dr. Conte: well we often like to move forward…
This exchage went on a couple of times between the two setting the audience laughing hard.
In the end, it was agreed Imo would be keyed into a UNICEF program on education which started in 2018, while Governor Ihedioha directed that some of the counterpart funding be paid promptly.
A task team was set up by the governor immediately, some members of the UNICEF team were ‘arrested’ to tarry a day or two longer in Imo to help re-establish frameworks and pathways to re-key Imo into the UN system….