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63 nation-strong group commends Nigeria’s role in draft UN resolution on innovative financing

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan

Members of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing (LGIF) have commended Nigeria for its inspiring leadership of the 63-nation strong body in the promotion of creative financing mechanisms to complement development aid.

Delegates from many member nations including France, Finland, Italy and international organisations who spoke at the 68thUnited Nations General Assembly side event in New York organised by the Group on Wednesday stressed that the Nigerian Presidency of the Leading Group which began in March 2013, has seen an  aggressive promotion of the role of innovative financing in the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

The initiatives include consistently promoting useful expert reports produced by LGF in such critical sectors as education, health, food security, illicit flows and climate change as well as leading in the initiative that produced a draft UN resolution on innovative financing.

In his address at the session, the Minister of State for Works/Supervising Minister for National Planning, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, said that Nigeria’s presidency had come at a time when issues on financing the post-2015 agenda continued to dominate international discourse.

Yuguda said the Group had conceptualised predictable and stable mechanisms for raising funds for development, to complement Official Development Assistance (ODA).

“We believe that besides Official Development Assistance (ODA) and financial flows from northern industrialised countries, which have remained central to development funding, there is the need to harness many other resources with great potential which will contribute to financing for development in a sustainable manner. The set of options of innovative financing mechanisms promoted by the leading group is one of them.”

Another concrete contribution from the leading group under the Nigerian presidency, he added “ is a draft resolution dedicated to innovative financing which will be presented during the 68th UNGA. “The resolution focuses on the role of innovative financing in the strategy of implementation of the new agenda for development.”

He said further that “Innovative financing mechanisms which we have adopted include the air ticket tax and effective management of aid under a newly reviewed ODA policy in line with our government’s transformation agenda and the long term development blueprint known as the Nigeria Vision 20: 2020,’’Yuguda said.

The minister explained that the air ticket sales tax was charged on every ticket originating from Nigeria and was deployed towards ensuring high safety standards, provision of aviation infrastructure and manpower development.

The leading group is a platform of 63-member countries at various levels of development and international organisations and NGOs seeking to promote the definition and implementation of innovative financing mechanisms.

Through its innovative financing agenda, the group has conceptualised predictable and stable mechanisms for raising funds for development to complement ODA.

At the 11th plenary hosted by Finland in February, Nigeria assumed the presidency of the group, thereby becoming the focal nation for promoting innovative financing mechanisms.

Delegates from many member countries, including United Nations, France, Finland, Chile and Italy as well as some international organisations such as OXFAM, UNDP and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly side event in New York on Tuesday.


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