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The Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon, Funminiyi Afuye on Tuesday said that its state is committed to creating an enabling environment for intervention of donor agencies towards improving the well-being of the people.

Rt Hon, Funminiyi Afuye, stated this in Ibadan at the opening of a three-day training workshop for the Ekiti State Executives, and legislators.

The workshop was organised by the UNDP with the support of Norwegian government on implementation of the conflict sensitive approach to the development programme, budget formulation, monitoring and reporting.

He said that the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi subscribed to the UNDP programme to promote peaceful coexistence in the state in a bid to make Ekiti indigenes live a life of dignity.

UNDP had been a friend of Ekiti and had intervened in different areas which had made the organization indeed a huge supporting partner to the state.

He noted that the UNDP had engaged Security personnel in the state in a six-day capacity building training on early warning and early response to conflict prevention and also conducted assessment on victims of violent conflict in different skill acquisition programme of their choice all in a bid to ensure that Ekiti State is at peace, thereby engendering development.

“You will agree with me that for any meaningful development to occur in any society, efforts must be intensified towards prevention of crisis and revolution of conflicts of any nature in such society.

“Business thrives only in societies where peace avails. Nigeria in recent times is faced with a lot of crises resulting in insecurity thereby being a clog in the wheel of the country’s development.

“Hence, this sensitization workshop involving the critical stakeholders and civil society groups in Ekiti State on implementation of conflict sensitive approach to development programming, budget formulation, monitoring and reporting is a relevant and timely intervention which will give a strategic direction to the state development.

The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Lealem Dinku represented by Mr Mathew Alao, Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security Unit, UNDP Nigeria, said that the workshop was aimed at capacity building on conflict resolution among the stakeholders

He stressed on the imperative of peace, justice and strong institutions to the collective well being and advancement of the country’s development in line with the SDG 16 of the UN.

“As you are aware, SDG 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all level

“One major way to promote sustainable development, build  community cohesion, build/strengthen citizens’ trust and confidence in government, enhance inclusive governance, and guarantee local ownership of development programme/projects and protection is through constructive engagement with all stakeholders particularly the project beneficiaries and communities in all government’s programme that impact them.

He said that to achieve the SDG 16 required some level of investment that build and strengthen capacities of government institutions and functionaries, as well as citizens for enduring peace, justice and strong institutions and imbuing them with the right attitude to development programming and budgeting for maximum results.

The government and stakeholders deserve a deeper understanding of the interplay between humanitarian, peace and development nexus, hence the significance of the training and at this crucial time.

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He expressed the hope that the training would help achieve the primary essence of development programmes, which among others is to enhance human lives, to improve human dignity and wellbeing; and to promote peace, justice and strong institutions with capacity for engagement and improved service delivery.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in the state, Hon Femi Ajayi, lauded UNDP for initiating the programme which he said would help in conflict prevention and interagency cooperation in the state.

Ajayi said that the UNDP had also initiated a conflict prevention and peace building programme  to help build a society free of conflicts and chaos through strengthening national capacity for prevention.

He said that the UNDP did this by building the skills of stakeholders in programme development, budget processes, monitoring and reporting for all inclusiveness and closer collaboration between them with a view to facilitating immediate response to conflicts to give room for rapid development in the society.

He therefore described the workshop as relevant and timely especially at a time that insecurity was a major challenge bedeviling the nation.

“Conflict is nothing but a major distraction in any society which prevents the achievement of meaningful development; if at all any could be achieved. UNDP in this regard could therefore be best described as a right step towards a right direction.

UNDP had been a friend of Ekiti and had intervened in different areas which had made the organization indeed a huge supporting partner to the state.

“We are today witnessing another project which is expected to address and focus on implementing the activities that will deepen the culture of conflict prevention and peace building through peace infrastructure in Ekiti State.

“This will include supporting the government to formulate a legal framework for the establishment of peace infrastructure and putting in place mechanisms to support a violent free society by strengthening the capacity of the lawmakers,  key stakeholders and Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) operating in the state on conflict sensitive approach to conflict prevention.

This training is to sensitise participants with more robust strategy towards implementation of the conflict sensitive approach to development programming, budget formulation, monitoring and reporting.

At the workshop, 26 lawmakers from Ekiti including the speakers and his deputy with some members of the state executives, and Civil Society Organisations from the state that participated in the workshop

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