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USAID partners state govts. on loans management

Felix Oloyede



USAID partners state govts. on loans management

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) project has collaborated with state governments in Nigeria on the proper use of loans.

Mr John Onyeukwu, Deputy Head of the Party of State2State project, spoke with the Nigerian News Agency on the sidelines of a four-day workshop on “Public Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility” on Wednesday in Abuja.

Onyeukwu said it was prudent for countries, in particular Nigeria, to channel loans and other resources towards health, education and social protection.

He said it was important to work towards stronger institutions for proper loan management.

According to him, when loans are channelled properly, they will lift many people out of poverty.

“In support of our work in six target states in the states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Sokoto, we are supporting them in developing a strategy to manage public debt, a medium-term strategy and a framework of fiscal responsibility.

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“The main interest of our project is primary health, education and WASH and the success of our activity is linked to the improvement in these sectors.

“For example, education changes the rules of the game. When people do not go to school or drop out and there is no work and there is no social protection, it will be a big problem.

“That is why states need to better manage their resources and create jobs.

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“This workshop is to train them more so that every month and every quarter, they can keep a good record of their debts,” Onyeukwu said.

He said Nigeria was already spending much of its income on debt service, adding that proper resource management was critical.

Onyeukwu said that training had been organized on how states could increase their internally generated income (IGR).

“The only other way that most governments can reduce the social challenges of development is by borrowing.

“As citizens, we may not have the final say if the legislature approves a loan, but we hold them responsible for the loan that has been collected and for all the debts that the states incur.

“So that’s what State2State is helping states do as a public rate management activity.”

Onyeukwu said that as part of efforts to achieve results, State2State was working with the Governors Forum to ensure that state government budgets went through a new national framework called New Charts of Accounts.

He said this was to ensure more detail on the content of the budgets, adding that plans for audit training were being finalized to provide specific audit support.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that the State2State project is a five-year project intended to run from 2020 to 2025.

The project is running in six focal states of Adamawa, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom and Gombe.

It aims to help them manage accountability in service quality systems in basic education, primary health care, WASH, among other sectors. (NAN)

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