By Princess Sumanu Funsho
Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Asiwaju Idris has tasked coordinators of all donor supported projects on the need for proper documentation of projects in the State
The Commissioner stated this during a meeting with representatives of donor supported projects in his office.
He said Exco has given a nod to the creation of the International Cooperation Dept, hence the need to hold meeting with the various heads of the donor supported projects in the state
Hon.Idris who commended the organisers of the program, also thanked the participants for attending. He said such meeting will enable them share experience and exchange ideas with one another.
The Commissioner who said the meeting will also afford them the opportunity of properly coordinating the activities of the govt in the state , added that, there will also be synergy among other agencies for the purpose of achieving a common goal.
While calling for proper monitoring of funds meant for projects, the Commissioner said donor supported programs are under reported in the State.
The Commissioner said even though they are State government projects, little is been heard about government’s contribution to such programmes.He however maintained that, every money spent on projects must be inline and directive of the state government and due process must be strictly followed
He noted that there is room for improvement and call on them to do more.
The Commissioner also disclosed that agencies are not allow to withdraw funds without the consent of the Ministry and must show their record of work plan and how money is spent.
Attributing the fall of oil prices to the deadly covid-19 disease out break,the Commissioner said it is a wake up call for the State to improve on its ways to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.
In his keynote address, Mr Rufus Idris from the Department For International Development (DFID) said their sole responsibly is to identify priority areas for State governments and ensure if enough funds is provided for such sector
He said depending of areas of interest, such as poverty rate, unemployment and primary healthcare, data recording is very essential which will help generate accurate information.
He commended the State government for matching words with action, noting that seriousness on the parts of leadership will convince donor agency to do more for the State.
He said DFID, funded projects is more about using technology to transform the agricultural sector.
According to him, we look at how we can support young people who learn how to develop different technology solutions to agricultural problems and also to how to support farmers and the business to adopt the technology in order to increase on their productivity
Mr Rufus said tackling unemployment and other social vices, DFID has been able to come up with programmes such as ICT for young people. He said young people will be provided with an opportunity of learning skills in Nigeria and still be paid in foreign currencies.
Secondly, Agribusiness is also designed for young people to look at the value addition aspect of agriculture even without going to the farm, Entertainment, Beauty and fashion are also identified as way of reducing unemployment. This is where young people can also make reasonable income to sustain and keep them in the country.
He further said resourcing program is a new program which is aimed at stamping out modern day slavery in the country.
He said, the Dept for international development, is looking for ways on how existing programs can be sustained and also attract more donor funding projects to the State. To do this, we are looking into new ministries and will make assessment of what is currently working and what is not.
We have to look out for new donors in our neighboring States that is yet to be in our own State. We need data to justify their coming to the state and plans on how to sustain such programs. He said the beauty of data is that there is integrity behind it and how view is interpreted.
While promising to meet with stakeholders in their respective ministry, Mr Rufus said it will enable him identify where there are gaps and where relevant supports are needed. By so doing, he said they will map all the donor agencies in the country and match them with areas where they are needed
He emphasised on the importance of coordination between donor agencies which he said will avoid duplication of projects.
He said it will also help the state government to see impacts on the populace
He called on quarterly interaction to help achieve more for the State and move the State to grater heights.
Earlier the Director of the International Cooperation Dept, Mr Sani Haruna said one of the advantages of the donor funded projects is that, when the process are right, the result are bound to be right.
He said he has always Maintained that, if the State government can leverage on the process of the donor supported projects, it will feel a lot of gap in the state.
While thanking the coordinators of various agencies, Mr Sanni said it is important to come together share ideas and interact with one another.
He further advised that all donor funded projects should be included in the State annual financial Statement, and also be reflected in the State budget.