United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) project, is partnering with the Federal Government for a transparent financial management system in 36 states in Nigeria.
Mr John Onyeukwu, Deputy Chief of Party of the State2State project, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, at the sideline of a three day workshop for six focal states.
The focal states are Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe, Sokoto.
Onyeukwu said that part of the focus of the project was to enable states of the federation to run accountable financial systems that would provide quality service in basic education, health and other priority sectors.
He further said that State2State, a five year project, meant to run from 2020 to 2025, was to ensure that public finance management was not only transparent but inclusive.
“When there is public finance management and citizens are involved, there is less conflict, there will be development and states will be able to make the right investments.
“Also, citizens will be able to have quality services in basic education, primary healthcare as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH).
“We know states have their priority projects but in the hierarchy of human needs, you will realise that education, health and WaSH are things that can pull us out of poverty,” he said.
The chief of party noted that the project was designed to ensure that states were major stakeholders.
He added that governors of the six focal states had been briefed on the project and had registered their commitment to making it achieve its aim.
While explaining the activities of the project, Onyeukwu said one of the major focuses was helping states develop the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of between 2022 and 2025.
“In this project, the budget cycle is an important factor, where there has to be a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is a three year plan, from which budget is derived every year.
“So, all our benefitting states are in the process of initiating their budget for the year 2022.
“What USAID is doing is to help the states prepare the MTEF so that it will be an easy ride for them,” he said.
He disclosed that besides State2State, there was a 750 million dollars World Bank project called State Financial Transparency Programme, which states could benefit from.
He said, “our ambition is to ensure that the states we are working with will be the top six states in that process in the next programme.
“The project is designed in a way that states, which base their performance on certain indices like publishing their budget, will have access to the fund.
“This is another source of resources for states to pay bills, particularly now that federal revenue share is reducing.
“So states are very anxious to have additional revenue and manage what they have very well as well as make the citizens happy.”
NAN reports some of the focal points of the workshop are, identifying fiscal risks and mitigation actions as well as sector and MDAs allocations and explanations.
Barau Offers Scholarship To 628 Students In BUK
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, has offered scholarships to 628 students of the Bayero University Kano (BUK).
The students, who were selected from Kano North Senatorial District, where the lawmaker represents, were given N50,000 each.
Flagging off the scheme at the School of Continuing Education, BUK, on Monday, the Chief of Staff to the Deputy President of the Senate, Professor Muhammad Ibn Abdullahi, said the scheme was conceived by the Deputy President of the Senate to support his constituents to pursue their studies in various tertiary institutions in the country.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Deputy President of the Senate on Media and Publicity, Ismail Mudashir, said the gesture would be extended to all students from Kano North Senatorial District in all tertiary institutions in the country.
“This scholarship scheme was conceived to empower undergraduates from Kano North Senatorial District. Each of the students will receive N50,000 courtesy of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin.
” This gesture is not only for the students of BUK, every student from Kano North that is studying in Nigeria will benefit from this scheme. This is not the first time, he has been doing it. He has given similar support to farmers, and others in the society,” he said.
He urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the gesture and study hard for them to excel in their academic pursuit.
One of the beneficiaries, Adama Iliyasu Rabiu, a level 400 student thanked the Deputy President of the Senate for the gesture.
” We are grateful for this. With this gesture, I will proceed with my registration. I thank Senator Barau Jibrin for this support. May Almighty Allah reward him,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Shamsuddeen Usman said “I have received the N50, 000. I am in the 300 level. Yearly, I struggle to pay for my school fees. We appreciate him.”
10th Senate Will Give Education Adequate Attention – Senate Leader Bamidele
….Distributes 10,000 Textbooks To Students In Ekiti Central
The Senate Majority Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has assured Nigerians that the 10th Senate will strive hard to facilitate improved budgetary funding for the education sector.
The All Progressives Congress Senator, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, stressed that the measure remains the best way to rescue education from total collapse, and make it functional as a potent weapon to combat poverty.
The Federal lawmaker said this in Aramoko Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area, on Monday, while distributing 10,000 textbooks to 5,000 students across 50 secondary schools the local councils in his Senatorial district.
Bamidele, represented by his Senior Legislative aide, Hon. Bunmi Oguntuase, expressed pleasure and concurrence with the statement credited to President Bola Tinubu that proper funding of education remains a top priority of his government.
The Lawmaker maintained that Tinubu’s friendly posture to education would complement the position being espoused by Senator Godswill Akpabio-led Senate that the sector must be funded properly to benefit Nigeria.
The Senate Leader lamented the recurrent federal government’s negation of the 26% prescribed by UNESCO as budgetary funding to the sector, describing this as the greatest undoing of education in the country.
He said: “Education remains a leveler between the children of the rich and poor in any society. It is the most potent instrument we can use to combat poverty and insecurity. This has been the position of President Tinubu and the current Senate.
“The major focus of the Akpabio-led Senate is to ensure that the sector is properly funded. No country can advance beyond the level of its available human resources and the only way our human resources can be polished and made productive, is through qualitative education.
“So, the current Senate won’t compromise on adequate budgetary funding for education. No nation jokes with education and witness economic advancement. It is the major impetus to bolster radical development in any developing economy like ours.
“We are also happy that President Tinubu had demonstrated his love for the sector by signing the Students’ Loan into law. This gave an inkling into how desirous he is to fund education”.
Speaking about the gesture, Bamidele said the free textbooks distribution was meant to propel education in Ekiti that was widely reverred as the Fountain of Knowledge through enhancement of students’ knowledge in English Language and Mathematics .
The Senator commended Governor Biodun Oyebanji for his commitment to reposition education in Ekiti via recruitment of adequate manpower to strengthen the sector.
“Within the last few months, Governor Oyebanji had recruited over 3,000 teachers into primary and secondary schools in Ekiti and I initiated this programme to complement what the government is doing to rejig education in Ekiti.
“I know that the English Language and Mathematics textbooks will help our students, particularly those from poor backgrounds, whose parents can’t afford to buy them books”.
Dignitaries at the presentation included: Ado Central LCDA Chairman, Hon. Toyin Ojo, Ado North LCDA chairman, Hon. Yomi Oso, Okemesi Ido Ile LCDA Chairman, Hon. Sunday Ajibade, and Ekameta LCDA Chairman, Hon. Ebenezer Adebusuyi
NUC Boss Rasheed Resigns, To Resume University Lecturing
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed, has “voluntarily resigned” from the NUC to resume lecturing at the Bayero University Kano, where he worked prior to his appointment.
Rasheed disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Monday, noting that he had spent seven years as the executive secretary of the NUC.
The NUC boss however did not state the reason for his resignation.
The development comes barely two weeks after the commission’s presentation of licences to 37 new private universities.
That brought the total number of private universities in the country to 147.
With the additions, the university regulator placed the overall number of universities, both privately and publicly owned, at 267.
Rasheed, however, noted that the NUC was taking the universities to task, as the commission had asked owners of the various institutions to adopt global best practices.
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