Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said that donor funds to the country have not been properly utilized to deliver planned projects for sustained growth and national development.
In her speech at a retreat for members of the National Assembly organised by the ministry on process optimisation in donor-financed projects in Nigeria held in Lagos, the Minister noted that some of the critical sources of funds for the execution of key projects in Nigeria is through donor financing, especially from multilateral bodies such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Ahmed said Nigeria ranks low compared to other nations of the world in terms of the level of implementation of World Bank funded projects.
“When borrowed funds fail to be properly utilised, and to deliver on planned development objectives, growth is impaired and economic development is distorted.
“Nigeria ranks low compared to other nations of the world in terms of the level of implementation of World Bank funded projects.
“It is public knowledge that there have been increased public agitations against rising foreign debt levels. This has put immense pressure on the government to ensure prudent management of resources, and improve transparency and accountability in the utilisation of funds from donor agencies for maximum positive impact on the economy.”
Ahmed added that non-utilization of donor funds in the country, led to a Task force on Disbursement in Donor-Funded Projects being constituted.
“The Term of Reference (ToR) of the task force is to evaluate, review and chart a fresh course to significantly increase disbursement levels in donor-financed projects in the country. It is to also work with relevant stakeholders to facilitate various approval processes for donor-assisted projects before final approval from the National Assembly”