Niger State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between it and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the areas of security, agriculture, education, and health.
The signing of the MoU was done during a round table meeting between relevant stakeholders in the State and the UNDP delegation aimed at establishing a pathway for sustainable peace and security, held at the Government House, Minna, the state capital.
Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago, decried the nefarious activities of bandits in the state which he said has resulted in the high number of Internally Displaced Persons, a large number of out-of-school children and the inability of farmers to effectively engage in agricultural activities.
He said the humanitarian crisis in the state calls for concern and help from development partners around the world, pointing out that collaboration with development partners like the UNDP will help in bringing succour to the people of the State.
According to him, “Niger State needs help and we are not ashamed to tell the world. The State is having a backlash of the criminal activities of bandits and other extremists which has affected many Local Government Areas in the State”.
He highlighted several measures taken by the state government and the relentless efforts of the security agencies in addressing insecurity in the state including the use of Kinetic and non-kinetic approaches but the desired result is yet to be achieved.
The Resident Representative, UNDP Mallam Mohammed Yahaya, explained that the round table meeting was an opportunity for the UNDP to get first-hand information about the numerous challenges faced by the State to come up with the best ways of addressing them.
Mallam Yahaya assured that as a development partner, UNDP is committed to supporting Nigeria as a whole and Niger State in particular.
Niger State Chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers and Etsu Nupe, Alhj. Yahaya Abubakar expressed gratitude to the UNDP for their readiness to collaborate with the State for the betterment of the state and the citizens.
The Estu Nupe conferred the title of “Shugaban Raya Kasan Niger” meaning “Vanguard of Peace in the Development of Niger State” on the Resident Representative of UNDP.
There was also an exchange of gifts between the UNDP delegation and Gov. Umaru Bago.