Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, has assured the World Bank that the state government will sustain its land reforms to attract investment that will further consolidate socio-economic development and generate job opportunities for Edo people.
The deputy governor, who is acting as governor of the state following the transfer of power by the governor, who is currently on annual vacation, gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the World Bank, headed by Edda Ivan-Smith, at the Government House, in Benin City.
He said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration would strengthen the existing partnership with the World Bank, and assured the delegation that the state government has resolved issues relating to land grabbing by proscribing the activities of the Community Development Association (CDA), a move that received the backing of the revered Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
According to deputy governor, “We are already partners with the World Bank in terms of development. We are set to break new ground in Edo, which other states will emulate. As regards the research on land management by the World Bank, we have already put mechanisms in place to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. This is because we are determined to create job opportunities for youths.”
He noted that research on land reforms and allocation to encourage private sector development being promoted by the World Bank showed that Edo is already working hard to ensure transparent and trusted land management across the state.
Leader of the World Bank delegation, Edda Ivan-Smith, said their research in the state will enable the Bank understand the land ownership system in Nigeria, with a view of providing solutions to current challenges.
Ivan-Smith said the World Bank is working with governments to improve land administration in the country, noting that the findings of the team’s research is targeted at stimulating dialogue in government, especially on how land is allocated to encourage private sector investment.
She said the team was carrying out similar research in Lagos, Ogun, Jigawa and Kaduna states.