Counterpart Funding: Cross River To Address Challenge In 2019 Budget

In Breaking News, International News

By Elijah Ugani, Philip Agba and Rose Ofem

The Cross River State government has stated its readiness to address the challenge of counterpart funding in the 2019 budget.

The Commissioner, Ministry of International Development Commission, Mr. Francis Ettah stated this on Wednesday during the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDPFl 2018 end of year review and 2019 work planning meeting held in Calabar, the State’s capital.

The State has been accused of not paying counterpart funding which has stalled funding from many developing partners.

And, Mr. Ettah said that: “The issue of counterpart funding for development assistance for programs and projects has been a big challenge to the state. I like to assure the UN and other developing partners that the state government will address this challenge frontally in the 2019 budget which is now at the preparatory stage.

“This meeting should be seen as an opportunity to reflect and brainstorm on the way forward as we enter the second year of implementation of the new partnership. The State government accords high priority to the issue of proper coordination of development assistance, it is for this reason that it created the Ministry of International Development Cooperation which serves as a focal point for the UN and other development intervention in the State.”

Continuing, Ettah averred that “Cross River State is deeply appreciative of the past efforts of the UN in the state and for the inclusion of the state in the new partnership framework.

“We are all aware that periodic reviews are very critical in the life cycle of every project and program because they serve as a tracking mechanism to ascertain progress made, achievement recorded and challenges encountered in the course of implementation of activities.”

On his part, the Country Representative of United Nations Organization in Nigeria, Mr. Kwasi Amankwa noted that: “It is important to stress that Cross River state has shown great deal of consistent commitment and willingness to partner with the UN.

“Programmes implemented under the UNSDPF are explicitly focused on helping both the federal and state governments to implement their specific development agendas, at this meeting, we bring together expertise that resides in the various UN agencies together with financial assistance to support the state in maximizing its own resources for the sustainable socioeconomic development of it’s people.

“In line with UNSDPF requirements, the outcome of the joint work plan will be consistent and align with the state development plan. I wish to restate the commitment of the UN agencies led by UNFPA to support Cross River State towards the achievement of the SDGs through the partnership framework.

“As we review and plan in the next three days, let all of us bring our experience to bear, we should leave Calabar with performance report of 2018 and feed into the National review in mid- December, and a draft work plan for 2019.”

The Head, Calabar sub office and the South South, South East Coordinator of the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA), Mr. Keneth Ehouzou, disclosed that in mid 2018, “the UN and the Cross River State government had met and developed a four years operational plan, and today we are here to review the 2018 operation and to plan for 2019, ahead of the national review, we must put in our very best to come out as the state that has always been in the forefront of coordinating as well implementing UN programs and projects.”

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