By Usman Shuaibu
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to meet outstanding financial commitments to the various international organisations and bodies to which Nigeria belongs.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, disclosed this at a meeting in Abuja with the Country Representative of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in Nigeria, Mr Suffyan Koroma.
Prince Agba’s disclosure was a direct response to Mr Koroma’s request that Nigeria should settle its outstanding membership dues to the FAO.
He directed the Department of International Cooperation in the Ministry, which is responsible for coordinating the activities of international donor agencies, to produce a spreadsheet of Nigeria’s commitments to enable government find ways and means to meet them.
The minister took the opportunity to call for better coordination between the Depratment of International Cooperation and the FAO together with other international donour agencies.
Koroma had also briefed the minister on what he described as “the seamless implementation of the policy on the European Union Commission-funded Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience Sustainability and Transformation programme in Nigeria.”
In another development, the minister has solicited the support of the Ford Foundation in funding the Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, in the critical area of capacity building for research.
NISER is a parastatal under the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He told a team from the Foundation led by the Regional Head for West Africa, Mr Innocent Chukwuma, in Abuja, that Nigeria was open to further support and collaboration in funding development in some critical sectors.
He commended the Foundation for its more than six decades of unbroken investments in Nigeria, and called for more funding support in the education sector.
Agba said he was interested in the development of the right curriculum that “targets mindset change in dismantling the culture of violence against women, which is one of the focus areas of the Ford Foundation in Nigeria.”