By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
United Nations and Bauchi State Government on Wednesday signed a N5. 8 billion 2020 Work Delivery Plan for the global body to expand its humanitarian activities to other developmental aspects of the state.
Unveiling the work delivery plan, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon stressed the need for the Bauchi government to provide peace and security for the UN officials for the effective implementation of the plan in the state.
Mr. Edward Kallon noted with delight that Bauchi state is discussing with the UN agencies on issues linked to Sustainable Energy Development, the MSMES, Industrial parks, private sector development and agribusiness development.
Ambassador Kallon explained that UN agencies including UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, and other agencies that are not residential in Bauchi are currently assisting Bauchi state in various development programmes of the state.
He told Governor Bala Mohammed, “We still have a lot to do in Bauchi state. Out of the nine outcomes of the UN sustainable development and partnership framework, Bauchi is only implementing three outcomes in the areas of health, education and social protection – including Gender Based Violence (GBV).
“On this fund, we need your support in order to expand into other outcomes areas we sign this agreement today. I want assure you and your council that UN is truly interested in this engagement, especially now and beyond as we support your government and create avenues for you to realize your development aspirations”.
Kallon enumerated four critical areas to support the Bauchi state government which included managing the COVID-19 pandemic, state authorities must own and lead by example in containing the virus and hold institutions and organizations accountable to ensure compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures, test – isolate and treat COVID-19 patience, trace and quarantine their contacts, inform, empower and listen to communities.
The second area of priority for investment, he said, is accelerating implementation of agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, stressing “The 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals are our shared vision and transformative agenda to end poverty, rescue the planet and build a peaceful world through a solid proper partnership while leaving no-one behind.
Speaking before signing the agreement, Governor Bala Mohammed said singing the document is part of his administration’s vision of providing citizens of the state with good governance, stressing that good governance, human rights, peace and security form the basis tenets of his government as people are involved in all the major decisions being taken that affect their lives.
He said, “This Work Plan has captured most of what we are doing in the state. The investment in the various social sectors by the UN family is indeed heart-warming as it shows the confidence you have in my administration.” Let me thank you most sincerely for this wonderful relationship.”
Governor Bala explained that the state government is tackling the challenges in critical sectors of the economy through effective and efficient utilization of the state’s wealth, saying however “We need partners and sponsors, Bauchi under my leadership is donor and investment friendly”.
“Development Planning and process are not new to Nigeria and indeed Bauchi State. What is new is the process where people who are the beneficiaries of the programmes and projects are carried along in implementation of the plan.”
Bala also assured the United Nations of the state government counterpart funding in various programmes meant for the development of Bauchi, adding, the work plan form part and parcel of Bauchi programme he set out for himself because it carried out all the drivable the state is set to achieve.
The Governor described the document being signed as a product of collective efforts of Bauchi people from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state and officials of the UN system in Nigeria.