The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) deserves accolades for the assistance it renders to Nigeria in diverse ways, particularly in stabilizing the North-east, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, while playing host to Ahunna Eziakonwa, Head of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa.
He said the Federal Government was doing its best to rehabilitate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and return them to their ancestral homes, but with meagre resources, assistance from bodies like the UNDP comes handy.
The President said as a developing nation, Nigeria “can’t do hop, step and jump, but must pass through the process of development,” adding that the help of international organizations are well appreciated.
He thanked Nigerian-born Ms Eziakonwa for her official visit, “and for coming home as well,” noting that herself, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization, and Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, were some of the women doing Nigeria proud internationally.
The Head of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa said she was delighted during her visit to the North-east, “to see incredible progress being made in helping people restore their livelihoods, teachers and students back in schools, police stations being rebuilt, and health centres being reconstructed.”
Saying it is the desire of UNDP to see IDPs camps emptied, she thanked Nigeria for the opportunity given the organization to play a role, “as well as space given us to address COVID-19 through the Basket Fund.”
On youth development, Ms Eziakonwa said Africa was now being seen “from problem lens to opportunity lens,” and efforts were being made to tap into youth dynamism, provision of social protection, digital technology, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and focus on climate change.