Bauchi State Government is to access a total of $44.63 Million of funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as another sum of N15. 87 Million from the African Development Foundation (AfDF) for the economic development of the various sectors of the state.
This development was part of the outcome of the meeting between the State Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Dr Amimu Hassan Gamawa, his other colleagues, Commissioners of Finance, Nura Manu Soro, and Sama’ila Burga of Agriculture and Rural Development and the African Development Bank held in Abuja recently.
Reports from the Ministry have it that in addition to the funding obtained, there is an additional mechanism for funding that is dependent on qualified programme performance.
It will be recalled that the Ministry of Budget and Planning has set itself a number of clear objectives in its mission to deliver on the promises of the State Governor, Sen Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed by entering such a partnership with the African Development Bank to enable the administration to take the next step in delivering key services to the people of the State in a timely, effective and resourceful manner.
The key services and projects include improving the quality of life, providing basic social services, sanitation, hygiene, health and education, livelihood opportunities, food security and a strengthened safety net system in selected areas of the state in need.
The three components of delivering on these aims and objectives according to the Ministry is Service Delivery, Economic Recovery and Institutional Strengthening and Project Management to guide the Ministry at every turn.
Service delivery will take a holistic approach to deliver policy which includes, gender-sensitive infrastructure (education, sanitation, health etc), improved skills acquisition for workers in the key infrastructure areas, comprehensive public education on health and environmental initiatives and a switch to demand-side accountability in assessing and implementing the above infrastructure improvements.
The Commissioner stressed that at its heart, the service delivery component will transform the manner in which public policy is implemented with a citizen-centred approach, saying that the outcomes will be assessed and defined utilising a robust monitoring and evaluation framework that simultaneously cuts excess and improves implementation.
He explained that the economic recovery component is predicated on elevating a broad cross-section of constituents as the key points of focus under this component is youth and women, unskilled labour and poor households while the focus on youth and women addresses issues of previous neglect and promises to unlock unexplored talents, energy and capability for the benefit of the state.
“In short, this will form the crux of Bauchi State’s economic recovery by empowering a large and formidable workforce. The institutional strengthening and project management component will build upon the broad societal empowerment that will drive economic recovery as the initiatives include building the technical capacity of key development drivers ranging from SMEs to those working on policy strategy”, Aminu Gamawa added.
Aminu Gamawa also said that the Ministry of Budget and Planning will be spearheading a monitoring and evaluation framework as well as impact evaluations to ensure that the holistic strengthening initiatives have tangible results.
The Commissioner welcomes the conditions and criteria for further funding considering that criteria for further funding are in line with some of the key campaign promises made by the Governor and reflect the administration’s wider goals which include, clearly recognised and implemented progress of the programmes, sustainable infrastructure for future generations and lastly, the inclusion support and development of women and youth in economic and political activities.
He assured that “it is believed that these conditions will aid the success and sustainability of the projects in the long-term and are a ready encouragement.
The Bauchi state government’s specific responsibility vis-a-vis their contribution to the projects is to avail counterpart funding, repay the loan to the Federal Government, Chairing the project steering committee, designating officials to sign withdrawal applications and other correspondence with the bank.
The key human component in delivering this project is the project steering committee as recommended by the Project Appraisal Report, this committee’s mandate will be to provide oversight, facilitate linkages and synergized with line-ministries in order to enhance proper coordination.
The benefit of a dedicated steering committee is that it will enhance the accountability and oversight mechanisms utilised by the Bauchi state government and ensure that the administration is results-driven.
The meetings of the steering committee chaired by the SSG and co-chaired by the Commissioner for Water Resources will report directly to the Governor as well as the State Executive Council which will take place quarterly so as to ensure up to date and effective management of the projects.
Similarly, the Commissioner joined his colleagues from a number of supporting Ministries for a meeting at the African Development Bank in Abuja during which the State recorded a number of successes in developing partnerships with the African Development Bank and was able to secure substantial new avenues of funding.
He added that the funding will be a massive addition to the efforts that Sen Bala A Mohammed is making in tackling the development issues that the state currently faces in addition to the continuation of the World Bank Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, YESSO project, which is ending on June 2020.
The Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning will coordinate the release of the funds and supervise the projects to ensure proper implementation throughout and ensure that the projects are captured in the 2020 budget appropriation.
The Commissioner, assured that his Ministry is now urgently working to get the Ministries involved to capture the activities under the project in the 2020 budget in view of the fact that the disbursements are linked with the performance of the state, which are also linked to specific performance indicators and criteria as contained in a statement signed by Muslim Lawal, Personal Assistant, Media to the Commissioner.