The World Bank has approved a $250 million fund for various developmental projects in Ogun State.
Ogun State is one of the six projects approved by the world financial institution to support development priorities across the country, including improving immunization, enabling a stronger business environment for the private sector, expanding the digital economy to promote job creation, and increasing public and private sector capacity on governance, social and environmental safeguards.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communications, Hon. Remmy Hazzan, the World Bank approval was the outcome of various interactions between Governor Dapo Abiodun and officials of the bank, where the Governor was able to discuss his economic blueprint and development roadmap for the State.
The statement has it that the World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Nigeria is central to the World Bank Group’s mission of tackling extreme poverty. The World Bank is carefully targeting its support on high impact projects, as the country works to tackle corruption and lift 100 million of its people out of poverty”.
It revealed that the State Economic Transformation Project was expected to increase private investment in the State by improving the business environment, strengthening the linkages between agricultural producers, suppliers and service providers, and providing training and apprenticeships for women and farmers.
The statement noted further that, among some of the key results, the project would facilitate collaboration between farmers and agribusinesses, improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching up to 70 percent in public secondary schools and to be financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $250 million.
It would be recalled that the project facility suffered a major setback and in fact was reduced from the original amount of $350m because of the slow utilization of the initial preparatory allowance of $5 million and the poor implementation of the preparatory phases of the project facility by the previous administration.
According to the statement, Governor Abiodun, However, was able to convince officials of the Bank that he would see to the judicious application of the fund with the developmental programmes, already earmarked for execution in various parts of the State.
Prince Abiodun has already created an office within the Governor’s Office to accommodate officials of the Bank, who would be involved in project execution, disbursement of the fund and monitoring the implementation of the approved projects
The Governor expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the confidence reposed in his administration, even as he promised to ensure efficient utilization of the fund.