President Muhammadu Buhari says the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), deserves accolades for the assistance it renders to Nigeria in diverse ways, particularly in stabilizing the North-east.
The president stated this on Thursday at the State House, Abuja, while playing host to Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Head of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa.
He said the Federal Government is 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 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 UNDP chief said she was delighted during her visit to the North-east, “to see incredible progress being made in helping people restore their livelihoods.’’
She also noted with delight that teachers and students were back in schools, police stations being rebuilt, and health centres being reconstructed.
According to her, 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, Eziakonwa said Africa is now being seen “from problem lens to opportunity lens,” and efforts are being made to tap into youth dynamism, provision of social protection, digital technology, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and focus on climate change.