Written evidence submitted by Mohamed Yahya (IRN0040)
I would like to make the following points on the record in relation to your inquiry on Implementing the Integrated Review in Nigeria:
With regards to Nigeria’s geopolitical importance
Nigeria’s regional importance is quite significant, and development in the country will have impact and implications that expand the region and across Africa. Nigeria is the pilot of the African plane.
In the Northeast of the country we are at the tipping point. There is currently a window of opportunity of just a few months. How we support from a security, development and humanitarian angle will decide what happens in the Northeast and the ripple effect in the region and more broadly. Handling of the mass surrender of Boko Haram fighters, combined with those who previously had not been under the care of the state, will have a ripple effect. Nigeria with the support of the international community cannot afford to get it wrong. The outcome will set the tone and message for the Sahel or Lake Chad in particular.
With regards to the impact of aid cuts
No one is stepping in to fill the funding gaps on our programmes left by the cuts in UK assistance. The UK has invested heavily in the stabilisation programme and has been highly successful. We went with the UK Embassy to the most difficult and badly impacted areas and were able to use the Stabilisation Unit’s model to create security in a very short period of time by rapidly improving conditions – 1500 homes, livelihood creation, self-sufficiency and so forth. UK is still there but not at the level by which we were able to meet the needs of more people. The impact of the cuts has been devastating for our work.
It is challenging to get things done in Nigeria but getting it right here is critical to the future of the continent. Africa future will be largely be determined by what happens in Nigeria.
Thank you for the opportunity.