Perm Sec Stresses the Need for Foreign Assistance in National Development

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning Mr. Ernest Umakhihe has stressed on the important role foreign assistance plays in achieving national development goals.

Speaking at the presentation of the new Nigeria’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy to ministries, extra ministerial offices and agencies in Abuja, Umakhihe noted that all international development interventions must be aligned to complement key national development goals.

He harped on the need to develop reliable and quantifiable information on the support of development partners/ donors to Nigeria, adding that the Nigeria ODA policy seeks the harmonization of external assistance by ensuring a synergy and alignment with Nigeria’s development priorities, growth targets as well as poverty reduction goals.

The Nigeria ODA policy , the Permanent Secretary further said should be equally, “guided by the tenets of Nigeria’s foreign policy principles of mutual cooperation, strengthening of multilateral and bilateral relationships between Nigeria and developed partners”.

Umakihihe said that the Nigeria ODA policy and implementation framework will provide the guiding principles for the sourcing, provision and utilization of bilateral, multilateral /non-governmental grants and aids flowing into Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary urged MDA’s to collaborate with the Ministry by coming up with useful suggestions on how to make the ODA Policy a framework for a more strategic, coherent and better coordinated development assistance that will help to achieve higher impact.

He also pointed out that the ODA Policy will strengthen collaboration between our development partners and national stakeholders for results-driven management of development assistance.

Earlier in her remarks, Director Department of International Cooperation, in the Budget and National Planning arm of the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs.Elizabeth Eghareva stated that the ODA policy will help to enhance transparency and accountability in development assistance operations’ in the country.

According to her, the new ODA will provide a framework for reporting and analysis of external aids with the ultimate objective of promoting transparency and accountability in the utilization.

Participants at the presentation were drawn from MDA’s and representatives from the states.

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