Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Government said it has paid all outstanding bills to the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the United Nations office in Abuja, just as the work is expected to be completed soon.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) , Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this disclosure at the official signing ceremony of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework Joint FCT/UN Annual Work Plan for 2016 in his office.
Malam Bello revealed that the contractor has gone back to site and is working steadily to achieve the set target.
The Minister noted that the components remaining would be the security infrastructure and the furnishing of the complex, which would be quickly handled.
His words: “Early this year we made some payments to the contractors to be able to complete their own aspect of the job. The remaining aspect that has to do with the security infrastructure in the building, we held discussions and we created a team between the two organizations to identify where the challenges are and try to look at what can be funded as quickly as possible for you to be able to move into the office.
“We have made arrangements for funding in this year’s financial estimate so that we will be able to get the needed funds and work towards the deadline that we have all put for ourselves”.
Malam Bello appreciated the support the United Nations has been giving to the FCT Administration as well as other states of the federation.
The Minister promised that his Administration would jointly work with the UN to ensure that the interventions are expeditiously carried out for the common good of humanity.
He assured that the FCT Administration would promptly release its counterpart funding in order to get all the interventions moving as envisaged.
Speaking earlier, the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Fatima Samoura also appreciated the growing partnership between FCT and the United Nations family in Nigeria, which is manifested in many areas.
Ms. Samoura noted that under UNDAF II (2009-2013), FCT was one of the pioneer 6+1 states for the delivering as One self-starter approach and that the cooperation yielded fruitful results.
She recalled that under the 2015 Joint FCT/UN UNDAF III Annual Work Plan, an average of 48 percent of the planned objectives for which USD 5.4 million was budgeted and co-funded by the UN System and the FCTA was achieved.
“A total number of 100 activities have been programmed for implementation in the year 2016 with an estimated budget of USD 43.33 million. The UN System will be contributing about 41.41 percent of the funds and the FCTA contributing the remaining 58.59 percent,” Ms. Samoura added.
The UN Coordinator conveyed the appreciation of the UN System in Nigeria for the continuous support and hospitality enjoyed from the FCT Administration.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye as well as other top functionaries of the FCT Administration and the United Nations witnessed the event.