By Jide Afolabi
The State and Local Governance Reform Project (SLOGOR) has trained 65 officers drawn from the National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU) and the State Project Coordinating Unit (SPCUs) from the six SLOGOR States of Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun, and Yobe on Project Management.
This was revealed in a press release issued by SLOGOR Project National Communications Officer, Mr Ajewole Ebenezer, today. A copy was sent to CityMirrorNews.
According to the statement, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by Mr. Joel Adeoye Christopher, a Director in the PS office in his opening address at the SLOGOR Training Workshop in Kano on Monday, said that the training is relevant as it will help in enhancing the capacity of officials and speeding up the process of implementation, not only of the SLOGOR Project but for the Management of other donor-funded projects.
Umakhihe stated that the training provides opportunity for the successful implementation of the project across the participating states, while stressing that it will improve the capacity of the project staff and increase the level of the use of project management skills in ensuring harmony of the internal processes to the overall project goal and for effectiveness and efficiency.
He stated further that, ‘’our gathering here today is, therefore, an opportunity to share experiences on the SLOGOR Project. I am confident that the follow up technical sessions will bring up critical issues for deliberations as the rest of the Programme has been devoted to technical presentations on issues relevant to the project’’.
According to him, a good understanding of the application of the principles of Project Management in the implementation of the SLOGOR project, particularly the Public Financial Management and the Local Governance components, is consistent with the efforts of government in cascading the dividends of democracy to the grassroots through the devolution of some functions to the local councils.
He noted that there was no gainsaying the fact that there can be no meaningful and sustainable development without a well- thought out project like the reforms embedded in the SLOGOR Project, which aims at changing the status-quo and making government people-centered and accountable, while also adding that the reform is in sync with the various fiscal reforms being implemented by the Federal Government, especially, the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
Umakhihe lauded the European Union, EU, for providing the resources under an implementation arrangement with the World Bank; thanked the World Bank for its commitment to effective delivery of the project and also commended the efforts of the six beneficiary states – Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun and Yobe for the progress made so far as well as urging them to ensure successful realisation of the project objectives before the end date.
Also speaking at the workshop, the National Project Coordinator – Mr. Samuel Eloho tasked the states on the need to speed up implementation of the Project in their various states and also ensure accountability and transparency in carrying out their activities.
According to Ajewole, Eloho urged the states to put in place mechanisms that will ensure the sustainability of the project in their states even after the closure of the project in a bid to sustain the gains achieved so far in the project.
SLOGOR is a European Union funded and World Bank-managed Project. Its Project Development Objective is to Improving transparency, accountability, and quality in Public Financial Management (PFM).