‘UK spent N7bn in five years to tackle poverty, others in Nigeria’
Head, Department for International Development (DfID) Office in Nigeria, Chris Pycroft, has said that the British government under the UKAID programme spent £14.98 million (about N7 billion) on the Policy Development Facility Phase II (PDF II) project to support the Federal Government in poverty alleviation.
Pycroft disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, during the PDF II closeout themed ‘Leaving A Legacy of Change’.
He said the five-year project was set up to support ‘Champion of Change’ with improved capacity and evidence to enable them to pursue vital economic and social reforms, adding that the project, which started in April 2015, would be closed in March 2020.
“There are immense challenges in Nigeria, but there are also huge opportunities as well. What we have done with the PDF programme is to identify a range of reformers within government, trade and the private sector and provide them with the support to drive forward the whole series of reforms. We are going to address some of the challenges you speak about and ensure that we are able to support poverty reduction here in Nigeria.
“In the last five years, we have spent £14.98 million on the PDF programme with different work-streams. We have provided technical support and advice to the office of the Vice President to be able to lead on areas of economic reform.
“We have provided support in trade facilitation and the private sector, and some of the supports are at the state and federal levels,” he stated.
According to him, the impact of the programme has been immense, as it has a transformative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of poor Nigerians.
Though the PDF II will end in March, he noted that DFID had extended the ‘Breach Programme’, so that the reforms will continue.
Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economic Matters, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, said the PDF II largely contributed to the success of the Federal Government’s policy on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) among other benefits.
On her part, the Programme Manager, PDF II, Dr. Titilola Akindehinde, said Nigeria saved N184.2 billion on its top five expenditure items as a result of the PDF II project.