Nigeria's Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo has recently in the State House, Abuja disclosed the receipt of reports on the fifteen years of strategic partnership between the UK-Department for International Development (DFID) and the Debt Management Office (DMO) in Nigeria, describing it as a case of successful government-government partnership.
The report was titled: 'Fifteen Years of UK Partnership with Nigeria on Debt Management: Lessons for DFID Wider Approach to Building Capacity and Fourteen Years of Strategic Partnership between the DFID and DMO-Nigeria.'
Mohammed Namadi Sambo noted the long-standing relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, particularly regarding the activities of DFID in the country and observed that the partnership exemplifies the way a Nigerian agency should maximise the benefits from a development partner's support.
He said that working and collaborating with the DFID has provided the necessary institutional support and human resources development for the DMO to achieve the level of successes it has recorded over the years. He also commended the DMO, saying its remarkable achievements in recent years have constituted an integral part of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's administration. Adding, the principal objective of the agenda is to ensure that the economic and social well being of Nigerian citizens are enhanced through sound economic management such as witnessed in the DMO's present attainments.
The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who recalled the significant activities leading to the establishment of the DMO indicated that the collaborative efforts between the DFID and Nigeria has been successful and has produced a first- rated agency on debt management in Africa.
In his remarks, the Director-General of DMO, Abraham Nwankwo said that the report is an assessment of the strategic partnership which commenced in October 2000 and terminated in March 2013. He further disclosed that the DMO with support from the DFID has afforded debt relief for the country, developed the country's bond market, reconstructed the debt profile and established Debt Management Departments in the thirty six States of Nigeria and the FCT. He also stressed that Nigeria now has a comprehensive debt database for the federal and state governments.
Also speaking, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock said that the report presentation was a genuine and lasting Nigerian achievement and an indication of a strong UK-Nigeria partnership worth celebrating. "Nigeria is now sharing its expertise with other African countries on debt management," he revealed, while calling for continued political commitment from the country's leadership for the activities of the DMO.
DFID Consultant - Alex Duncan, expositing the report emphasized on Dora Akunyili and Menachem Katz's analogies that committed political leadership, support from the international community, domestic pressure for action on the country's debt profile, technical professionalism and a committed team which includes continuity in the leadership of the DMO which appointment has been based on merit are accountable for the remarkable achievements of the agency.