BTAN Advocates Collaboration with C’River Ministry of International Development Cooperation

0
115
Reading Time: 2 minutes

…tenders 3 prayers for consideration 

 

Calabar, Cross River The Budget Transparency and Accountability Network (BTAN), a civil society organization in Cross River State, paid a courtesy visit to Dr. Hippolatus Ogar Lukpata, the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation in the state. The purpose of the visit was to congratulate Dr. Lukpata on his recent appointment as a member of the state executive council and to discuss matters of mutual interest NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered.

Led by Kingsley Eworo, the Executive Secretary of BTAN, the group presented three key requests to Commissioner Lukpata. Firstly, they proposed the creation of a Civil Society Organizations (CSO) desk within the Ministry of International Development Cooperation (MIDC) to facilitate better engagement with CSOs in the state. This desk would serve as a focal point for communication and collaboration between the ministry and civil society practitioners.

Secondly, BTAN suggested the establishment of a donor coordination forum to enhance coordination and communication with development partners involved in various activities in the state. The group emphasized the need to strengthen this forum or reactivate it if it was no longer functioning effectively.

Lastly, the group stressed the importance of counterpart funding in the state’s development projects. They urged Commissioner Lukpata to use his office to expedite the release of counterpart funding, which is crucial for the successful execution of projects.

Eworo’s words in part, ‘Let’s have a focal person. Maybe you can call it a liaison, a liaison for CSOs or a desk officer for CSOs who at every point in time we can interface with this person and this person has access to you at every other time, even though we can still have other opportunities to meet you.

‘We used to have this Donor Coordination Forum. You featured very prominently then as a director. Is it still happening? If it is happening, can we strengthen it? Can we have a directory? Because I know that donors have come and gone. Can we reactivate it if it is not happening?

‘As a matter of fact, the budget for counterpart funding comes from the Ministry of IDC. That is where it is embedded. We are asking very humbly that you use your good office to see how we can task the release of counterpart funding’.

In response, Commissioner Lukpata expressed his appreciation for BTAN’s visit and recognized the significant role that CSOs play in the state’s development process. He acknowledged that in the past, BTAN had played a vital role in the budgeting process, and their absence could lead to delays.

Commissioner Lukpata advised BTAN to extend their visits to other key stakeholders in the state, including the Executive Governor, the Speaker of the 10th Assembly, and the Budget Office led by Special Adviser Otu Otu Ita.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to continued collaboration between BTAN and the Ministry of International Development Cooperation to advance the development goals of Cross River State.