Umakhihe Says Foreign Assistance Vital To National Development, Presents National ODA To MDAs

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ABUJA (Min of Budget and National Planing Report) – The Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe, has stressed that all international development interventions must be aligned to complement key national development goals.

Umakhihe who made this assertion at the presentation of the new Nigeria’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Policy to Ministries, Extra Ministerial Offices and Agencies in Abuja recently, emphasised that, foreign assistance plays an important role in achieving 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.

Umakhihe further said that ODA Policy 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.

He disclosed 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.

He therefore 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, as well as strengthen collaboration between our development partners and national stakeholders for results-driven management of development assistance.

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

She said that 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