By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu, June 28, 2021 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has called on the Ebonyi government to improve its investments in basic education and healthcare delivery.
The Deputy Chief of Party, USAID State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity, Mr John Onyeukwu made the call in Enugu at the state Action Planning retreat of the Ebonyi State Transformation Committee (STC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the State2State Project is a USAID funded programme aimed at increasing accountability, transparency and effectiveness of governance in targeted states that include: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Sokoto.
Onyeukwu said that critical services covered in the project include education, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
The deputy chief of party said that the programme was aiding the state government to reform its public finance management system and procurement audit, among others.
Onyeukwu said that the programme was also supporting the state government to develop a strategic document on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with a view to increase its IGR.
He added that the state government had been identified to be doing a lot in terms of reforming the state’s economy.
“Ebonyi is seen as having the willingness to reform. They are interested in having strong institutions. We hope that the state will raise enough IGR, so as to invest more in basic education, primary healthcare and WASH,” he said.
Onyeukwu called on other states in the South-East to learn from the government of Ebonyi and what it was doing in order to open up their states for more investments.
Also, the Executive Director, Development and Integrity Goal Foundation, Mr Chima Ajah, said that the State2State project would expand the civic space and broaden citizen’s participation in governance, while also improving service delivery in all aspects of governance in the state.
Earlier, the State Team Lead, Mr Sam Onyia, said that the project started in the state in November 2020 and since then it had done a lot, including strengthening the state’s IGR.
He, however, identified the current state of insecurity as posing a major challenge to the project as it had stalled some of its activities.
NAN reports that the retreat was attended by members of the Ebonyi STC, including the Auditor-General of the state, representatives of civil society organisations and the organised private sector.
USAID urges Ebonyi govt. to invest more in education, healthcare
By Emmanuel Acha