Ogun Canvasses Review Of Counterpart Funding For Projects

The government of Ogun State has called for a revision of the terms and circumstances for accessing counted resources.

Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, made the announcement in Abeokuta during a meeting with a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Finance’s International Economic Relations Department (IERD), led by its Director, Hajia Aisha Omar.

Because of the severe financial constraints that the States face, Okubadejo believes that a particular percentage of the counterpart fund as a criterion for accessing loans or grants as a proof of their commitment by participating States is no longer possible.

“Using counterpart funding as a way to determine commitment is no longer popular because resources are scarce. Most States are grappling with wage increase, COVID-19 pandemic, the slowdown in economic activities and a decrease in Internally Generated Revenue. All of these have put pressure on the funding capacity of State governments. We will 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 will achieve a lot more”, Okubadejo said.

The Commissioner suggested that donor agencies should collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Finance, to evaluate the capacity of States seeking such loans or grants before granting approvals, enjoining development partners to deemphasise the use of level and rate of disbursement, instead of the impact rate of loans to partnering States as a yardstick for measuring their performances.

Responding, the team lead, Hajia Omar, said 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.

“You were also right that much emphasis is being placed on level and rate of disbursement instead of the impact of projects, and I think that is one discussion we have been having seriously with our development partners, For us, we want to see what you have spent and what you have on ground, is there value for money? That is our own focus and I think it is now our duty and responsibility to draw the attention of development partners and ensure emphasis should be on impact, not on disbursement”, she submitted.

In a related development, the International Economic Relations Department (IERD), Federal Ministry of Finance, has applauded the Ogun State Government for the success recorded in the implementation of its donor-assisted projects across the State.

Hajia Omar gave the commendation during an assessment tour to some of the projects’ sites, expressing satisfaction over the level of work done, which she noted had impacted the socio-economic wellbeing of the people and overall development of the State.

“Our visit is the 2021 monitoring and evaluation of all donor-assisted projects in the State and ensure that the objectives of these projects are met. The State is doing very well in the implementation of the projects and its benefit to the socio-economic development of the State”, Hajia Omar said.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Development Partners Coordination, Mr. Bayo Adenekan said the projects had continued to impact positively on the lives of residents, maintaining that the commitment of the Dapo Abiodun-led administration had led to the success of the projects.

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