UNDP Nigeria’s 8th Country Programme Kicks off with a Planning WorkshopJan 30, 2014
To kick-start implementation of its Country Programme for 2014-2017, UNDP Nigeria held a three-day work-planning workshop with representatives from the six states selected as implementing partners: Anambra, Ekiti, Gombe, Kogi, Niger and Sokoto. Together, UNDP and the states’ representatives reached an agreement on the main elements of proposed development cooperation and produced draft annual work plans accordingly.
The consultations, led by UNDP’s Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai, were intensive and hands-on. They focused on fine-tuning the common areas of programme design, on discussing a Memorandum of Understanding to guide the development partnership.
The planning process was intensively consultative and inclusive. It started with the national vision, as contained in Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 strategic plan, and with the development challenges and priorities of each state, a synopsis of which was shared.
The Country Director emphasised UNDP’s development mandate in response to national and state priorities. He expressed happiness at the high level of representation from the states – which included a Secretary to the State Government and Commissioners of Budget and Planning ministries. The Country Director commended the states for both financial commitment (counterpart cost-sharing) as well as their focus on crafting meaningful activities that are linked to the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and its implementation plan (UNDAP), as well as the UNDP Strategic Plan.
This planning discussion took place against a rapidly evolving funding environment. Both constraints and opportunities were emphasised. There was consensus around the need to craft development programmes that focus on those areas where partners’ finite resources can make the most impact– or the “most bang for the buck” – in line with corporate direction and changing development landscape. The planning workshop was an important opportunity to build partnerships and mobilize resources for the Nigeria programme, and to leverage core resources (‘TRAC’) as a catalyst to attract counterpart cost-financing. Indeed, a measure of the success of the workshop was the commitment by the states to contribute two dollars for each development dollar provided by UNDP Nigeria. In addition to the critical role of resource mobilization, the planning workshop also demonstrated inherent capacity building elements. By holding a major workshop of this nature with the partner states, UNDP enhanced the planning capacities of the states – along the lines of Results Based Management.
The teams from the states were led by the following high level officials:
• Mrs. Michelle Onugbolu (Anambra State Programme Manager)
• Hon. Oyebanji Abiodun (Ekiti State Commissioner of Planning and Budget)
• Hon. Danladi Mohammed (Gombe State Commissioner for Economic Planning)
• Hon. Osaniashi Olatunji (Kogi State Commissioner for Budget and Planning)
• Mallam Idris Kusogi (Niger State Director, State Planning Commission), and
• Alhaji Sahabi Isah Gada (Sokoto State Secretary to the Government).
Mr. S.O Elohor, the Deputy Director, International Cooperation of the National Planning Commission the coordinating ministry for development cooperation, represented the Executive Secretary of the Commission at the meeting with the states. He charged the states to be focused on their development activities and to plan for effective development results.