The World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government is set to release $5million to Ogun State as the take off grant for the preparation and implementation of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in State.
The fund, according to the World Bank is to enable the State tackle the challenges of erosion in the State.
The World Bank Task Team Leader for Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, Dr. Amos Abu disclosed this on Wednesday when he led a delegation of the bank and officials of NEWMAP on a visit to the Governor Dapo Abiodun in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta.
Abu disclosed the State was the latest to be factored into the project, adding that the State had also met some conditions which included transparency, candour, accountability, probability and commitment.
“We have assessed your project team and we discovered they are capable. We have assessed your readiness, commitment and internal control mechanisms that will ensure that the resources that the bank will be bringing to partner with you will be used for the intended purpose,” Abu said.
He added, “We have therefore agreed that based on the quality of engagement with your team and the way they answered all our probing questions as well as the proposed work plan, we are convinced that when this money is released, it would be used for purpose.”
“So we are happy to announce that we will be releasing the sum of five million dollars to the State. This is against two million dollars which we normally give to State. We want to assure you that we will work with your team, so that we can begin to see the transformationary results that the NEWMAP is delivering”, he assured.
Abu said NEWMAP had started to finance half of the State for the acceleration of the design process just as the priority size which the State has put forward like the erosion site at Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ilaro, Ota and Isheri-Olofin, have been noted.
Goverrnor Abiodun in his response, expressed happiness that the State had been Incorporated into the project.
He noted that his administration since inception had held series of discussions with the bank on how it would assist the State in tackling the menace or erosion affecting some parts of the State.
“We have been engaging the World Bank before I assumed office and raised this issue of NEWMAP, knowing that we were practically late and the kind of ecological challenge that we have in the State. I must appreciate the level of cooperation that allowed us to be a participant in NEWMAP.
“I want to also say that the level of commitment that you have seen from our team is not an accidental; it is deliberate. It is because we have a good team – people with the right skills for the job and the fact that we all have a vision that we all keyed into and the vision is to be a focused, qualitative administration characterised by good government. Whatever we need to do to facilitate this project will be done as our government will as usual, be accountable and transparent”, the Governor assured.