USAID Financial Initiative Will Strengthen Governance, Says US Ambassador

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The recently launched ‘State2State’ initiative by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will further strengthen governance and empower Nigerian citizens, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard has said.

USAID launched a new State Accountability, and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity to strengthen subnational governance systems in six key states across Nigeria.

The five-year, $72 million State2State Activity is expected to improve how these states plan and budget, raise revenues, increase civil society participation, and oversee service delivery in the health; education; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors. The activity will begin operations in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Sokoto states and later expand to other states.

State2State works primarily at the state level, but also supports federal institutions and local government areas by strengthening government processes like public financial management and procurement; monitoring and evaluation related to delivery of services; increasing responsiveness to citizen priorities; and improving capacity to manage societal conflict through prevention, mitigation and reconciliation.

According to Leonard who spoke at the virtual launch of the financial initiative, “The scale and scope of the State2State activity is a potent symbol of the US government’s commitment to partner Nigeria to improve governance. We have made this sizable commitment because we believe dramatic improvements sometimes require considerable resources.”

State2State promises to increase accountability, transparency, and effectiveness while building on locally derived solutions, including expanding reforms that have proven effective in other parts of the country.

Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, said: “There’s no doubt that we need the support of development partners to improve and sustain delivery of critical services. State2State has come to Ebonyi at an important time, and I assure you that we will collaborate with this activity to ensure that it succeeds.”