The introduction of SEEFOR plus by the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, into the existing State Employment and Expendure for Result (SEEFOR) has been identified as factor in making the project to stand out amongst the three other states the project covers.
SEEFOR is a project funded by the World Bank, European Union and with a counterpart funding from the state governments of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers respectively.
Dr. Aliyu Aminu Ahmed, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) expert and consultant made this revelation during a M&E retreat and bi-annual review meeting held in Benin City recently.
The retreat drew participants from sister agencies and concerned ministries in the state and other stakeholders with special focus on SEEFOR performance in the state in the past few years and the way forward.
Speaking further, Dr. Ahmed said amongst all the SEEFOR states, Edo State is the most advanced in terms of budget reforms and employment.
In technical and vocational training, the M&E expert disclosed that Edo SEEFOR rose from its previous quarter of 2,970 to 3387 beneficiaries in this current quarter.
Dr. Ahmed said number of people with access to services supported in targeted communities by Edo SEEFOR increased from 186,131 to 186,142 as reported in the previous quarter.
According to the expert, while Edo SEEFOR maintained a marginal increase project beneficiaries, it, however, surpassed the 30% target in direct project beneficiaries.
While pointing out areas Edo SEEFOR needs improvement, Dr. Ahmed noted that with the introduction of the SEEFOR plus, the project has made huge impact in the state.
On his part, Mr. Moorieno Diftuffte, M&E Officer, and National Planning Coordinating Unit, identified counterpart funding as method of sustaining the project in the state.
He noted that, as officer in the Co-ordinating unit, there are many success stories particularly done through the SEEFOR plus which are not reflected in their quarterly report.
” There are many success stories of which are known but you do not reflect in your quarterly report. Please do take time to record such stories and properly reflect such in your quarterly report. These are the things the World Bank and the EU want to see and read in your report,” he said.
Participants from the state Auditor-General office said SEEFOR has helped the office in procurement of audit software and also produce audit manual.
Also, participants from ICT agancies also acknowledged that SEEFOR helped provide IT equipment; assist in developing oracle software for financial management; capacity building for staff; enhancement of biometric process, among others.
Meanwhile, a representative from the Ministry of Infrastructure said as part of SEEFOR sustainability programme, Edo State government created a SEEFOR PLUS using SEEFOR template which has given birth to construction of over 153 access roads across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Stakeholders all agreed at the end of the retreat that, with the satisfactory performance so far, there would be need for second phase of SEEFOR as this first phase raps up soon.