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Benue: Alia’s stance against corruption has led to return of development partners – Kula

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Tersoo Kula, has attributed the return of donor agencies, development partners and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to Benue State to Governor Hyacinth Alia’s stand against corruption and sharp practices.

Speaking during a session with the Government House Press Corps, alongside the Director-General of the Bureau for International Cooperation and Development, Benue State, Mr Aondoaseer Leonard Angelo Viashima, Kula noted that the governor has reinstated confidence in the state among the agencies.

Kula noted that under the previous administration, many donor agencies had left due to perceived insincerity. According to him, Alia’s leadership has reversed this trend.

He stated that the governor’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption has also instilled a culture of accountability among government officials.

Viashima, on his part, explained that the Bureau for International Cooperation and Development (BICD), created under Alia’s administration, is aimed at facilitating bilateral relations, coordination and knowledge sharing to foster sustainable development.

He pointed out some achievements of the Bureau, including Benue State becoming the first state in Nigeria to subscribe to the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program, which creates job opportunities for Benue indigenes at the United Nations.

He also stated that the BICD has also facilitated major counterpart funding for various projects, such as the USAID Global Health Supply Chain and the International Fund for Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD), which has benefitted the state significantly.

“The counter grant to these generated 4,047,750 bed nets worth about N8.8b and N1.4b to which the state paid 40% counterpart fund for the operational cost only.

“About 14,000 Benue state personnel participated in the campaign. Which took place between October to December 2023, a second round is coming up in 2024,” the BICD Director General explained.

The Bureau, he said, has facilitated partnerships between the Benue State Government and several international organizations, leading to impactful interventions in various sectors.

He further disclosed that the BICD has facilitated meetings between the governor and 57 members of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) Forum, as well as with members of the Humanitarian Country team.

The BIDC DG stated that during the meetings, some of the organizations entered into partnership with the Benue State Government for sustainable development.

Viashima equally pointed out the expansion of intervention sites to actively include Ukum, Logo Apa and Kwande areas which were not initially captured for humanitarian interventions, as one of the achievements of the Bureau.

He also stated that since Benue has now been declared a Humanitarian State, the status now allows for humanitarian interventions to come to the state, just like humanitarian crises states like Borno.

“This means that Benue State is allowed now to share a durable solution plan being a benefactor of the multi million USD UN support as the BAY states.

“This further means that beyond the regular UN interventions in the state, we have the return of UNFPA to Benue,” Viashima added

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