By Evangelical.com.ng edition, Friday, November 3, 2023. Admin.
In a demonstration of commitment to ensuring that Akwa Ibom State benefits optimally from World Bank initiatives, Governor Umo Eno has approved the release of N450 million as counterpart funding for the Nigeria For Women Project, a World Bank project targeted at empowering the women.
Governor Eno announced the approval when he hosted a World Bank delegation led by the Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Shudham Chaudhury, at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Uyo.
The Governor reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to partner in priority areas of agriculture and rural development, as he affirmed that the organisation’s vision connects with his administration’s ARISE Agenda.
“Most of the programmes like you rightly observed compliment our ARISE Agenda. We are willing to work with you to ensure that we continue to scale up where necessary. For now, agriculture is the key thing the ARISE agenda addresses. We can work with world bank to scale up agricultural potentials and guarantee food security in the State,” he said.
Governor Eno said the State will make effort to close gaps in the existing projects and explore more areas of partnership with the World Bank to benefit Akwa Ibom people.
“This visit has really thrown a lot of light on World Bank projects in Akwa Ibom and I must say that in my five months in office, this is the first time I’m getting such briefing on World Bank projects that we are doing.
“Listening to you in this meeting affords us, particularly myself, the privilege of having an understanding of how these things operate. We can assure you that we will close the gaps and by the time you do your next assessment, you will see us moving very fast.
“On the 450 million naira that was supposed to be contributed, I know I have given the approval and I can tell you that in the next one week, we will disburse it,” he assured.
The governor therefore, stressed the need for accountability and responsibility towards government on the part of personnel handling the projects in the State, as he consented to the team’s recommendation on appointing a senior government official to serve as a focal person and liaison officer between the World Bank and State Government.
“I can assure you that we will work very hard, and I will appoint a Senior Special Assistant who will work as the State focal person to help coordinate these activities and report directly to me on all of these projects so that we can see the gap and understand how to quickly close them,” he added.
Earlier, the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Shudham Chaudhury, said his visit was aimed at sharing his knowledge with the State as well as give the overview of World Bank’s effort and support to Nigeria in furthering the development of the nation and subnationals.
He harped on the World Bank’s position concerning responsibility for the progress and solving development challenges which, according to him, will lift Nigerians out of poverty, stressing that it depends largely on governance and leadership at the State level.
He commended the Governor over the rich content of the ARISE Agenda describing it as attractive and result- oriented.