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Gov. Alia’s Sincerity And Anti-Corruption Stand Reason For Return Of Donor Agencies To Benue – Kula

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The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Sir Tersoo Kula, has disclosed that Governor Hyacinth Alia’s stand against corruption and other sharp practices necessitated the return of donor agencies, development partners and INGOs back to Benue state.

Kula, stated this on Thursday, when he featured side by side with the Director General, Bureau for International Cooperation and Development, Benue State, Mr Aondoaseer Leonard Angelo Viashima, to interface with the members of the Government House Press Crew in a programme put together by the office of the Chief Press Secretary, to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), brief the in-house media team on their achievements in office.

Responding to a question on what he thinks is responsible for the return of the INGOs, donor agencies and development partners back to the state, Kula emphasized that although, many of them had left the state as a result of the insincerity they experienced during the previous administration, but Governor Alia’s personality, sincerity and integrity has given them enough assurance for them to retun.

The CPS added that the governor’s posture against sharp practices as the head of government, has also sent clear signals to everyone working under him that the right thing must be done at all times, thereby curbing corruption in governance.

On his part, the Director General, Bureau for International Cooperation and Development (BICD) in Benue State, Mr. Aondoaseer Leonard Angelo Viashima, said as the brainchild of the Governor Hyacinth Alia administration, BICD was created basically to ”facilitate bilateral relations, coordination, knowledge sharing, strategic alignment as well as to foster sustainable development by leveraging on the contributions of non-profit organizations, INGOs and donor partners.”

He said already the aim of creating the Bureau has started yielding fruits, as the Benue state government through the efforts of the Bureau, has become the first state in Nigeria to subscribe to the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) subscription, enabling Benue indigenes to participate in the recruitment at the United Nations to improve Peer to Peer (P2P) and Business to Business (B2B) engagements.

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He stressed further that with the subscription of the UNV programme, which supports peace and sustainable human development around the globe through the promotion of volunteerism and mobilization of volunteers, about 45-50 Benue indigenes will be shortlisted for the programme yearly, with a possible work retainership for almost all the candidates at the end of the one year programme, creating lifetime jobs for them.

Continuing, the DG added that through information sharing, networking, and resource mobilization, the Bureau has also been working hand in hand with the Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Youths and Sports, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Health, Works, Housing and Urban Development as well as with agencies such as SEMA, BENSACA etc to maximize the effectiveness of development interventions in the state.

He said the Bureau which was created in August 2023, but was fully inaugurated in November 2023, has also been able to facilitate major counterpart funding for USAID Global health supply chain as well as for International Fund for Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD).

“The counter grant to these generated 4,047,750 bed nets worth about N8.8b and N1.4b to which the state paid 40% counterpart fund for the operational cost only. About 14,000 Benue state personnel participate in the campaign. Which took place between October to December 2023, a second round is coming up in 2024,” the BICD Director General explained.

He disclosed further that the BICD has equally facilitated engagement meetings between Governor Hyacinth Alia and 57 members of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) forum, as well as with members of the Humanitarian country team, during which some of the organizations have already entered into partnership with the Benue state government for sustainable development.

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According to him, the Bureau has also facilitated and processed the signing of MoUs with organizations such as Heifer international, Plan international, Save the Children International, revealing that from November 2023 to date, the Bureau has signed and brought in 7 INGOs to come and partner with the government in different areas.

And apart from equally facilitating Capacity Building Programmes in the state, the DG also said they have secured the enlistment of Benue state in the Solutions for displaced persons project, targeted at returning the IDPs to their ancestral homes, adding that discussions to that effect have already reached 40%.

He equally highlighted the expansion of intervention sites to actively include Ukum, Logo Apa and Kwande areas which were not initially captured for Humanitarian interventions, as one of the achievements of the Bureau.

According to him, since Benue has now been declared a Humanitarian state, the status now allows for humanitarian interventions to come to Benue state just like the humanitarian crises states like Borno.

“This means that Benue state is allowed now to share a Durable solution plan being a benefactor of the multi million USD UN support as the BAY states. This further means that beyond the regular UN interventions in the state we have the return of UNFPA to Benue, 4 additional sectors from IOM and other UN sectors who had left the state returning to drive support to our Humanitarian needs.”

 

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