World Bank adjudged Anambra best project managers in Southern Nigeria

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By Sunny A. David, Awka
Anambra State has emerged the best performing in the implementation of World Bank-assisted projects for 2017, in the South-East and South-South.
This was revealed by the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessoud, during the opening ceremony of South-East/South-South Program Portfolio Review exercise holding in Awka.
Anambra State won the position having disbursed about $13million in counterpart funding for World Bank assisted projects and having a viable coordination mechanism for smooth implementation of the projects.
The 2-day program portfolio review had as its participants, coordinators of World Bank-Assisted projects in all the states of the South-East and South-South.
Declaring the event open, Governor Willie Obiano said the World Bank through its robust interventions, has helped the State address the numerous challenges the State faces in the area of education, health, Agriculture, Community and Social Development, Environment among others.
He said now more than ever, Anambra State is in great need of support to enable it tackle the massive erosion challenges it faces, commending the World Bank for its support already in this light.
The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment towards meeting its counterpart obligations for the full realization of World Bank-Assisted projects in the State.
Supervising Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed represented by Mrs. Uzo Okoye said in partnership with the World Bank, the Ministry has worked out key parameters with which to evaluate the impact of the World Bank assisted projects so as to engender a change in the way things were done before.
The World Bank Country Director, Nigeria, Mr. Benmessoud revealed that the out of the $1.2billion earmarked for disbursement across various programs, about four hundred and forty million dollars remain undisbursed, hence the need for the portfolio review activity.
He said among the issues identified to be driving poor implementation of World Bank programmes are lack of ownership and awareness on the projects, non-payment of counterpart funding by some states and absence of peer learning mechanism for information sharing, adding that the review exercise will focus on addressing these issues.
In an overview, a Senior Operations Specialist with the World Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa noted that so much fund remain unaccessed due to the poor coordination mechanism of some states and harped on the need for the states to focus more on results to achieve accelerated implementation.

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