Governor Dapo Abiodun

By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta

Ogun  State government has called for the review of the terms and conditions for accessing counterpart funded projects by international donor agencies by states.

The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, who made the call during a meeting with a team from the International Economic Relations Department, IERD, Federal Ministry of Finance, led by its Director, Aisha Omar, in his office, in Abeokuta, said the current arrangement is no longer in tune with current economic realities in the country.

Okubadejo said: “Using counterpart funding as a way to determine the commitment of States is no longer popular because resources are scarce. Most states are grappling with the wage increase, COVID-19 pandemic, slowdown in economic activities and decrease in Internally Generated Revenue.

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“All of these have put pressure on the funding capacity of State governments. We would love to do these projects, but because counterpart funding is put as a requirement, a lot of States will be slow in kick-starting the projects.

“But if you put in place necessary governance requirements to ensure compliance and implementation, and evaluate the government’s capacity to deliver on the projects, I think we would achieve a lot more.

Responding, the team leader, Hajia Omar, corroborated the Commissioner, saying her agency was working on the mandate of the Federal Executive Council for a downward review of amounts allocated for consultancy services, and focus on infrastructural development and capacity building for the sustainability of the programme.

Omar said: “The directive of the Federal Executive Council is that allocations under consultancy should be brought down to the minimal except when highly required and that we should focus on infrastructure, in-house building for the sustainability of the projects because projects will still be there years after the intervention of the development partners.

“There is really no value most of time when you talk about hiring Consultants because most times we have in-house experts, except for some new fields that have not been developed within the civil service”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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