WorldStage Newsonline-- Nigeria's Vice President, Namadi Sambo said on Monday in Kartoun, Sudan that the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has set aside about $2 billion dollars (about N310 billion) to support the country’s developmental programme between 2012 and 2014.
In his keynote address titled "African Development Experience: What Successful Experiences to Replicate and Scale up," during the special meeting of African Governors Forum on the Special Programme for the Development of Africa (SPDA) on Monday, Sambo observed that on the political and social fronts, the African continent was still evolving and reeling from some complex and multi-dimensional challenges especially how to eradicate poverty and provide decent and better lives and opportunities for the teeming population across the continent.
SPDA is an initiative of IDB for the acceleration of development objectives in African member countries.
The Federal Government under the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s developmental programme set target to accelerate and sustain economic growth; improve and modernize infrastructure; strengthen human capital stock and enhance access to social services; improve governance and increase competitiveness; reinforce social cohesion and main-streaming cross cutting issues.
He said, "it is on record that Africa is the only region in the world that is off-track in achieving most of the targets set in the Millennium Development Goals particularly in the areas of the mainstream inclusive growth, provision of basic services (infrastructure, water, sanitation, education and hospitals) and reversion of the spread of diseases, tackling of poverty, job creation and security.
"African countries cannot do all these things alone; they need help and assistance from development partners. The prospect of this veritable source of support is fast becoming less reliable, no thanks to the failure so far, to comprehensively resolve the high incidence of debts and deficits in Japan, United State of America and some European Union member countries.
"The unpalatable fallout of this sudden shock is the declining flow of grants and Foreign Direct Investments to the continent of Africa."
"To address this gap therefore, he said, African countries were left no option than to embark on far-reaching economic transformation policies designed to promote private sector driven growth, strengthen regional integration, facilitate cross-border trade and harness economies of scale."
The Vice President also challenged IDB, African Development Bank (ADB) and other Multi-lateral Development Agencies to be more creative in their interventions towards ensuring that the continent was put back on track to achieving the MDGs; noting that Nigeria was in the second year of its Medium Term (2011-2015) Development Strategy (MTDs), he stressed that the MTDs spelled out the key milestones of the Transformation Agenda which he said drew inspiration from our vision 20:2020.
He noted that the SPDA-I which covers the period 2008-2012, made appreciable impact on poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable economic growth while also supporting regional integration in African member countries.
Nothing that it was encouraging to note that so far the Bank has committed about $8 billion under the program, while SPDA-II, the envisaged successor is to span another five years (2013-2017).
He advised that in developing the SPDA-II, it was important to draw lessons and best practices from SPDA-I while also benchmarking similar programmes by other development finance organisations.
The Vice President highlighted the experiences of Nigeria in setting up the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF) at the ADB and the journey so far and urged SPDA, as a special programme, to endeavour to develop its peculiar procedures as well as make concerted efforts to draw up country specific sectoral priorities.
"In drawing up SPDA-II therefore, there is the need to know what worked and what did not work under SPDA-I; what impact was made, how many people have been lifted out of poverty, and in which sectors has it made the most significant difference in member countries? Was SPDA-I able to mobilise enough resources from external sources? What went wrong and what can be done to improve on the resource mobilisation from other donors and development partners? What are the Key Performance Indicators for the amount of resources leveraged from other sources for SPDA-I?"
In his welcome remarks, IDB President, Dr. Ali, noted that Vice President Sambo's presence at the forum was an indication of the attention Nigeria paid to IDB's initiatives, saying that IDB was determined to step up efforts to remove obstacles to development and eliminate poverty in its member countries, even as he stressed that development was a collective effort.