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Replace aids with partnership, Abiodun tells foreign govts, Investors

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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said for donors and philanthropists’ impact to be felt, there is need for them to have a deep understanding of the people’s challenges and formulate detailed strategies to address them.

Abiodun stated this while speaking at Foreign Investment Network (FIN) Virtual Humanitarian and Philanthropic Roundtable and Award Reception, noting that people would only participate and take ownership of projects that address their concerns.

He said: “What this means is that not just on the part of government, private donors and philanthropists must also develop a more in-depth understanding of the people’s challenges and then define a clear vision and detailed strategies with an action plan. 

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“This strategy must also include a tool to measure impact. Philanthropy should address people’s challenge, not the donor’s fancy. And that has been one major bane of philanthropy in this part of the world, and why it has not had the positive impact it should have had.”

Noting that there has been an increase in the number of institutional philanthropy in the past years, which included private individuals, corporate entities and families, he, however, regretted that there was little impact on the country’s socio-economic development. 

Quoting from the Organisation for Economic, Cooperation and Development (OECD and Development Assistant Committee (DAC) statistics, Abiodun disclosed that donors in the last 60 years have granted a total sum of $502b to sub-Sahara Africa, which is worth over $866b in current price, just as the United States annual Aids rose between 2002 and 2015 from $2b to $8b, while additional Development Assistant of $89b was granted to Nigeria, to support her development goals.

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He lamented that despite the huge amount, little impact was felt by the receiving population, adding that his state has created a viable development partnership with investors and donors, which consider the people’s interest and needs, as projects are situated, not for individuals or group, but the recipients’ needs to enable them take ownership, which would guarantee sustainability.

The Governor explained that the introduction of town hall meetings in the process of putting together this year’s budget was to allow for wider and deeper inputs, more practical way of identifying the people’s needs and expectations; so that government could strategically allocate resources towards successful execution of projects.

He said people must be made to participate in the project from inception, while governments should provide an enabling environment for philanthropists to thrive, maintaining that stakeholders needed to explore and introduce regulations to strengthen transparency and accountability in the process.

While informing the audience that Ogun State doors are open to genuine investors, Abiodun called on individuals and organisations to partner the state government.

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