…Undertakes two climate smart projects in Nasarawa
The Nasarawa Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK-Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF) on a Mutual Accountability Framework(MAF)
The partnership which is facilitated by the Nasarawa state Investment and Development Agency (NASIDA) was signed by Governor Abdullahi Sule.
The partnership ushers in funded technical assistance for the preparation of Climate Smart Infrastructure Public Private Partnerships(PPP) projects in the state.
The targetted was to enhance institutional and human capacity of the Nasarawa Investment and Development Agency (NASIDA) and other key Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state, d well as the technical assistance that will enable the state to deliver on the objective of the UKNIAF programme.
Two climate-smart projects from some of the Nasarawa state PPP pipelines have been selected to be undertaken under the partnership. They include a 4000-Bed Hostel for the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and 450 ha Gudi Industrial Hub, Gudi.
During the signing of the MoU, Governor Abdullahi Sule expressed optimism that the partnership will help improve productivity, and reduce poverty based on sustainable economic, social and environmental development as enshrined in the Nasarawa state economic development strategy (2019-2023).
He said that, he administration was looking forward to UKNIAF’s support of other climate-smart projects in the Nasarawa state PPP pipeline and to also benefit from a full spectrum of the UKNIAF support, through the development of Outline Business Case and market engagement to secure private sector participation.
He added that, the state is committed to advancing its support for the objectives of the programme in developing Climate Smart PPP project with the requisite potential to attract early-stage and downstream financing as he restates his commitment to strengthen the Nasarawa State Infrastructure Fund towards unlocking finance for eligible infrastructure projects.
“As we sign this Mutual Accountability Framework, we wish to reaffirm our promise and commitment to do things differently.
“We will continue to work innovatively, leverage partnerships, and
implement essential policy reforms that translate to good governance for everyone across Nasarawa State.
“I crave the continuous support of all stakeholders, in ensuring that this signing today, translates into tangible benefits for all, as we inch closer to the Nasarawa of our dreams,” Governor Sule noted.
The Head of Economic Development, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Sally Woolhouse said, with the signing of the agreement, UNICEF and the Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), would be collaborating to develop climate-smart infrastructure projects and unlock critically private financing for the development of the state.
“The support is provided through the UKNIAF which is our flagship infrastructure and energy programme. It is central to the long-standing partnership between the UK and Nigeria on infrastructure.
“The PPP offers the opportunity to leverage that important private sector capital. No state government can do that on their own but to accelerate infrastructure development and help meet the needs of citizens,” WoolHouse said.
She explained that, Nasarawa State was chosen for the project mostly because of the reforms introduced by governor Abdullahi Sule Administration in the area of ease of doing business.
“We are very excited to be working with you given the positive context we can run a programme such as this. It’s not a coincidence that those things go together. But equally, we see the need for infrastructure in addressing climate change both in terms of decarbonizing the economy, also increasing resilience to impact,” Sally added.
The Managing Director, UKNIAF, Chidiebere Onyia said, five key reforms initiated by the Governor Sule administration are the catalyst that is facilitating the PPP agreement between UKNIAF and Nasarawa State.
Onyia particularly mentioned the development of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), evolving a PPP framework backed by law, with Nasarawa State among the few states to initiate the policy, the establishment of NASIDA, an agency constituted beyond the state for sustainability and most significantly, the establishment of Nasarawa Infrastructure Fund, as well as instituting a high-powered investment and economic advisory council.
“These five high-level processes and systems, are part of the reasons why it was not difficult for us to select Nasarawa State.
“The work that we are doing with your team is quite remarkable. UNICEF, on the leadership side, we appreciate your forthrightness, even in giving us the necessary data to begin to think about the pipelines.
“One thing we have learnt over the years in engaging with some state governments and governors is that, they are not always forthright in what is not there.
“They paint glossy pictures when we begin to dig deep, we found out that things are not there. That has not been the case with you, you have always been open. That is why we are committing to work with Nasarawa State,’ he stated.
Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO of Nasarawa Investment Development Agency, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the state is committed to the partnership for mutual prosperity.
Abdullahi assured that, Nasarawa State would continue to have deliberate policies to ensure that when developers come to the state, communities engage with them and traditional rulers give the necessary support.
The UKNIAF is a Power
sector and Infrastructure Finance development programme funded through Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and delivered by the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office
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