• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Nasarawa emerge 2nd in World Bank NG-CARES 3rd assessment, gets N27bn reward, 21.5m USD for other projects

Nasarawa emerge 2nd in World Bank NG-CARES 3rd assessment, gets N27bn reward, 21.5m USD for other projects

…Enlists Nasarawa as a beneficiary in eight different World Bank programmes

…Visits Abuja Head Office to strengthen ties in key areas of interventions

A delegation from Nasarawa State, led by Governor Abdullahi Sule recently visited the head office of the World Bank in Abuja, to strengthen the existing ties on various intervention projects jointly executed by the state and the bank.

The visit to the world’s apex bank also enabled the state government to renew its commitment to providing a conducive environment for public and private institutions to operate without hitches.

During the visit, the state delegation and the World Bank team, led by the bank’s Country Director, Taimur Samad, had a fruitful discussion on various partnerships and projects to be executed in the following key areas of health, agriculture, nutrition, environment, infrastructure, power and energy, Social Investments among others.

On the entourage of Governor Abdullahi Sule, were the Senator representing Nasarawa West, Aliyu Ahmed Wadada, member representing Karu/Keffi/Kokona Federal Constituency, Gaza Jonathan Gbewfi and his counterpart, Jeremiah Umaru of Akwanga/Wamba/Nassarawa-Eggon.

Others are the Commissioners of Finance, Environment and Women Affairs, the state Accountant General, Musa Ahmed Mohammed, the ACreSAL State Project Coordinator, the Director General, State Social Investment Programme among others.

Taimur Samad, the Country Director of the bank was however overwhelmed with the commitment of the Nasarawa state government to ensuring the smooth execution of its projects across the state.

While commending the state for making significant progress and protecting their investments, Samad assured of their determination to execute more development projects for the overall benefit of the people.

The meeting allowed the duo to explore and deepen partnership and shared commitment to enhance the living standard of the people and socio-economic landscape of the state, by leveraging on the expertise, resources and support of the World Bank.

Following the meeting with the World Bank team in Abuja, Governor Abdullahi Sule, immediately conveyed an expanded State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, at the Government House, Lafia, where issues bordering on insecurity witnessed in some parts of the state, and the outcome of the meeting with the World Bank, took centre stage.

The SEC meeting was basically to review the security situation, advance the cause of action and step down the discussion at the World Bank head office.

The meeting, which had traditional rulers and Coordinators handling various World Bank projects in the state in attendance, was worried about the lingering farmers/herders clashes, cum pockets of insecurity bedevilling some communities, which posed a threat to attracting local and international investments to the state.

At the meeting, Governor Sule, informed participants of the positive development coming into the state through the World Bank interventions, hence his administration’s drive for inclusivity.

According to the governor, the outcome of the third assessment under the World Bank-assisted Nasarawa COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (N-CARES), earned Nasarawa State another windfall of twenty-seven billion nairas for coming second out of the 36 states in the country.

During the disbursement of the N13.6bn, when Nasarawa State emerged first in the country, traditional rulers and major stakeholders were being carried alone as they were expected to participate in supervising the implementation of the identified projects.

“It is the responsibility of all stakeholders at the meeting and the entire people of the state to own the project by first identifying key projects to be executed with the funds.

“This time around we came second. We didn’t come first again. It is always difficult to come first. The good thing about the second is that we now get, instead of 13.6 billion, we got 27 billion.

“More money than we got the last time, Which means we have been able to meet up with more items. With the amount that we received, we have to go back and work even harder in the implementation,” Governor Sule said.

The governor pointed out that, once other states realized that Nasarawa State received 13.6bn, everyone got up to work hard.

He commended the Chairperson of the N-CARES and State Commissioner for Finance and Budget Planning, Munira Abdullah, State Coordinator of the N-CARES, Umar Ibrahim Dahiru, alongside unit coordinators for attaining the feat.

“Once the 13.6 billion was given to Nasarawa State alone, every state will get up and work hard. So everybody got up and started working hard, including Nasarawa State and other people. We worked very hard. That is why I am commending them,” he added.

He however tasked the N-CARES officials on accountability and transparency and requested them to provide details of the projects executed after the state received the first tranche of the World Bank funds.

“Now we have the second disbursement and as I said, I am going to meet with them today and see what did we last time and the record that we have.

“Because I said, we have included our royal fathers to be witnesses, I have included our major stakeholders. Let us know what and what we did so that even when I am not here tomorrow I have my list that this 13.6 billion, this is how we spent it,” he said.

Governor Sule further disclosed that the state received another ten million dollars under the World Bank-assisted Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) programme after Nasarawa State performance during the Agro-Climatic Clinic recently held in Doma Local Government Area, where 250 000 dollars was distributed to some farmers.

He pointed out that under the World Bank-assisted programme, the state has no hand in the selection of the projects to be executed, with the money disbursed to be used in executing identified projects in Lafia, Doma and Toto, with Keffi and Nasarawa earmarked for the next projects.

“The next two places to be considered are Keffi and Nasarawa. The selection of the contractors will be done now and the projects will commence in September 1, 2024,” he said.

He added that Nasarawa State has also been listed in eight different programmes identified by the World Bank.

“One of the programmes of great interest to me is the State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER). Under that programme, 7 states out of the 36 states and FCT are qualified, with each state to be given 4 million USD.

“With all these discoveries of minerals that we are having, we are trying to see how Nasarawa State indigenes will be able to have some level of participation and role.

“NASIDA will work with the council to be able to identify individuals to be able to be part of it. That is what we will be promoting in that area,” he stated.

Governor Sule further announced that the World Bank has also approved 2.5 million USD under the AGILE programme in Nasarawa State, with another five million dollars for the upgrading of 148 Primary Healthcare Centres across the state.