The Federal Government has received reports on 15 years of strategic partnership between the UK-Department for International Development (DFID) and the Debt Management Office (DMO)-Nigeria, describing it as “a case study of successful government-government partnership”.
Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the DMO board, received the two reports Friday, in the State House, Abuja, titled: Fifteen Years of UK Partnership with Nigeria on Debt Management: Lessons for DFID wider Approach to Building Capacity and Fourteen Years of Strategic Partnership between the DFID and DMO-Nigeria.
The Vice President, who noted the long-standing relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, particularly through the activities of DFID in the country, observed that the partnership was a peculiar example of how a Nigerian agency could maximise the benefits from a development partner support.
He said “working and collaborating with the DFID has provided the necessary institutional support and human resources development for DMO to achieve the level of successes it has recorded over the years.”
Commending the DMO, Arc Sambo said “The remarkable achievements of the DMO in recent years constitute an integral part of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration whose principal objective is to ensure that the economic and social well being of our citizens are enhanced through sound economic management such as is being witnessed in the DMO’s commendable achievements.”
The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, narrated the historic events that led to the establishment of the DMO, saying the collaboration between the DFID and Nigeria had been a successful journey, which had produced a first rated agency on debt management in Africa.
In his remarks the Director General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo said that the report was an assessment of a strategic partnership which commenced in October 2000 and terminated in March 2013. He disclosed that the DMO with the support of DFID was able to achieve debt relief for the country; developed the country’s Bond market; as well as reconstructed the debt profile and established Debt Management Departments in the 36 states and the FCT, stressing that Nigeria now has a comprehensive debt data base of the federal and state governments.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, said the report presentation was a genuine and lasting Nigerian achievement and an indication of a strong UK-Nigeria partnership worth celebrating, revealing that Nigeria was now sharing its expertise with other African countries on debt management. He urged for continued political commitment from the country’s leadership for the activities of the DMO.
Mr. Alex Duncan, DFID Consultant, presenting highlights on the report prepared by himself, Prof. Dora Akunyili and Menachem Katz, said a committed political leadership; support from the international community; domestic pressure for action on the country’s debt; technical professionalism and a committed team; including continuity in the leadership of the DMO appointed based on merit led to the remarkable achievements of the agency.
Present at the meeting were the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Ehigie Edobor Uzamere, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Hon. Adeyinka Ayantunji Ajayi, as well as other top government functionaries.
FOR: UMAR SANI (SSA MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)