Ajimobi wants review of Oyo partnership with World Bank
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called for the restructuring of the state’s working relationship with the World Bank for efficiency, effectiveness and timely execution of projects.
Ajimobi made the call on Monday in Ibadan when he received a 14-member World Bank delegation led by Mr Benmessaoud Rachid, the bank’s Country Director in Nigeria.
Ajimobi said the state government would be very glad to see a timely, effective and efficient delivery of World Bank projects for the benefit of the people.
“I am very concerned on the slow rate of the World Bank projects. We are not happy about the level of deliverables in our relationship with World Bank.
“I don’t support a situation, where a representative of your bank will be responsible solely to the bank.
“I believe most of these projects are loans and such must be known to both parties in the relationship,’’ said the Oyo State governor.
He urged the World Bank to continue to collaborate with his administration in improving the socio-cultural well-being of the people.
Ajimobi said the state was already working with the bank on education, adding that the government believed in capacity building for its citizenry.
“We believe you can assist us in the area of teachers’ training, out-of-school project, infrastructure, environment, reduction in maternal death, agriculture and waste-to-energy projects.
“We believe that agriculture can take the country out of recession as the largest employer of labour with multiplier effect: Oyo State is the largest producer of poultry products in Nigeria.
“The state also has potential for rice cultivation instead of the billions of dollars expended on the importation of rice,’’ the governor said.
Ajimobi said that the state agriculture initiative – Agric Oyo – would impact more than one million citizens.
Earlier, Rachid said the World Bank team was in the state to demonstrate its commitment to the existing partnership, enhance prosperity and reduce hunger.
“We have six projects valued at 241 million dollars under implementation in the state.“One of the six projects is valued at 200 million dollars for urban sector projects.
“The remaining five projects, worth 41 million dollars, cuts across community development projects, HIV/AIDS and agriculture,” he said.
Rachid said the bank was ready to assist the state in any aspect it needed support.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor presented a talking drum to the World Bank delegation during the visit.
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