The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged states in Nigeria to focus on home-grown development instead of relying on donor agencies for the development of the country. The agency noted that aid does not account for more than one per cent of funds that accrue to the country and called on government to take the development of the people as a priority, rather than relying on foreign assistance.
Deputy Country Director, Programmes, UNDP Nigeria, Mr. Janthomas Hiemstra, gave the advice in Port Harcourt while addressing journalists at a workshop on aid coordination in Nigeria. He stressed the need for a home-grown development for Africa, driven by “intelligent” utilisation of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
“In my view, I think when aid is used very intelligently in a particular area; it could improve the capacity of the people. Aid does not contribute more than one per cent of the total money that comes to Nigeria, we believe that development for Africa cannot come from Europe, America or Japan; we believe that development will come from Africa, from Nigeria. One should not be looking outside for development,” he said.
He further stated that, “states shall not eternally or forever rely on external agency to build capacities of government officials, so some of these I believe are things Nigerians should improve on, making sure that they have the capacity to implement projects on government priority areas.”
Commending Rivers State, Hiemstra said, “Our assistance for Rivers State has been a broad variety of programmes. What we are talking about today is how to coordinate all international assistance to the states, it could be UN, it could be World Bank, it could be DfID or any other agency, and how Nigeria can make the most out of the assistance”.