By Sunny A. Ijomah
Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano says his administration is committed to meeting its financial obligations and ensuring proper implementation of World Bank programmes in the State.
Governor Obiano disclosed this when he received the Country Director, World Bank in Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessoud during his courtesy call on him at the governor’s lodge, Amawbia.
Mr. Benmessoud who led a ten man delegation from the World Bank on the visit, is in the State on a Country Program Portfolio Review Exercise.
The two-day portfolio review event which is done annually, will attract delegations from eleven South-East and South-South States, and witness deliberations on factors hampering the smooth implementation of World Bank Programmes in the various states and what can be done collectively to fast track the process.
Governor Obiano in his remarks, said World Bank has remained a major partner, assisting the State in key sectors of the economy including Agriculture, Education, Environment and governance, pointing out the FADAMA additional financing program that has helped the State do all-year round farming.
He said as is customary with his administration, it had set up a viable coordination mechanism that has not only ensured effective implementation of World Bank programmes but also maintained accountability and transparency in the management of funds from the development partner.
The Governor while commending the Bank for what it is doing which have been instrumental to the success of his administration, promised that his government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all its projects succeed in the State.
The World Bank Country Director, Nigeria, Mr. Benmessoud who revealed that the idea behind the review exercise is to work with governments of the benefitting states to accelerate the pace of work on projects the Bank is funding, commending Anambra for emerging the best performing state in 2017 in the South-East and South-South, having disbursed over 13million dollars for World Bank projects.
He disclosed that Anambra has been selected to benefit in some of the Bank’s newly approved programs including NEWMAP Additional Financing, Rural Electrification Projects, State Fiscal Reforms Project and Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Projects.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr. Mark Okoye revealed that the finance provided by the World Bank has been earmarked to fund ten to fifteen percent of the State’s budget for 2018, adding that as a result, the Coordinating Committee comprising line benefitting Agencies is committed to following up through monitoring and supervision to achieve effective implementation of the projects for the benefit of the people.
According to verifiable reports, World Bank has so far made financial commitment to the tune of about one hundred and thirty million dollars across various programs in the State with about forty three million dollars yet to be disbursed.