Governor approves N450m counterpart fund for World Bank project

CITIZENS COMPASS —Akwa Ibom State 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 women.

Eno announced the approval when he hosted a World Bank delegation led by the Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Shudham Chaudhury, in Uyo on Friday.

The governor reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to partner with the bank in priority areas of agriculture and rural development, adding that their vision remained in line with his administration’s ARISE agenda.

Most of the programmes you rightly observed complement 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 the World Bank to scale up agricultural potential and guarantee food security in the state.” He said.

According to the Governor, the state will make an 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 shed 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’ve gotten such a briefing on the 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 week, we will disburse it”. He assured.

The Governor stressed the need for accountability and responsibility towards the 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 point and liaison officer between the bank and the state government. 

Chaudhury had earlier said his visit was aimed at sharing his knowledge with the state as well as giving an overview of the World Bank’s efforts and support for Nigeria in furthering the development of the nation and its subnationals.

The Country Director harped on the World Bank’s position concerning responsibility for progress and solving development challenges, which, according to him, would lift Nigerians out of poverty; however, he said that much would depend on governance and leadership at the state level.

He commended the Governor for the rich content of the ARISE agenda, describing it as attractive and result-oriented.

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