$200m World Bank credit: Stop appropriating our effort for Jonathan, Ajimobi tells Akinjide, Ladoja
THE governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has warned the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ms. Jumoke Akinjide and the Accord Party gubernatorial candidate in the state, Rashidi Ladoja, to stop crediting the federal government with the achievements of his administration
He made this known in a reaction to the minister’s claim of the federal government’s help to secure a World Bank loan for the state government in the Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), which necessitated the bank granting the state government a $200 million credit facility.
The governor’s reaction was contained in a release issued by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor who also doubles as the Oyo State Government Team Leader for the IUFMP Credit, Mr. Abimbola Adekanmbi.
Ms. Akinjide had listed as one of the reasons Oyo State and Ibadan people should vote for Jonathan FG’s ability to get the state a $200 million World Bank loan to combat flood disasters, while the Accord leader, Ladoja, had called on the state government to complete the Apete bridge with the loan.
Governor Ajimobi, in his reaction, described Akinjide’s claim as akin to appropriating the state government’s effort while describing Ladoja’s claim as “extreme and acute illiteracy” about government policy.
According to the governor, the Federal Government never facilitated any loan for the government of Oyo State, stating that it was a shame that Ladoja and Ms. Akinjide, could connive to mislead the people of the state so as to score cheap propaganda for the president.
“As a direct result of the devastation from the 26th August, 2011 flood disaster in Ibadan wherein hundreds of lives were lost and properties and means of livelihood worth several billions of Naira destroyed, the governor personally approached the World Bank on the 6th September, 2011 for financial support to address the various infrastructural challenges that arose from the flooding and to also mitigate against future occurrence. He made a power-point presentation to officials of the Bank who, impressed by his presentation, said they were pleasantly shocked that an Oyo governor could be that articulate, stating that they had long abandoned the state believing it had ‘left the radar of development.’
“In line with the World Bank procedure, the State Government had to formalize the request for the financing through the Federal Ministry of Finance as is the practice.The entire credit arose from efforts to mitigate effects of the tragic flood and to prevent/lessen any future occurrence and should ordinarily be one that is insulated from politicisation such as the junior Minister is engaging in.
“Having obtained the World Bank go-ahead to commence preparation of the project, the State Government, amongst other things, spent overN50million to conduct several studies and other preparatory activities including the setting up of Project Implementation Unit (PIU) to secure the approval of the World Bank Board for the required credit facility. The Bank’s Board approval was granted on 17th June 2014 following the negotiation meeting between the State and the World Bank Team held at the World Bank Country Office, Abuja on 6th May 2014.
“The Federal Executive Council Approval of the credit which was granted on 5th November, 2014 was to formalize the credit as this is the practice when any State of the Federation is obtaining such credit facility,” the governor said.
Providing the Relevant Credit Data on the Project, the governor said that aside the Total Credit facility which is USD200million, the Oyo State government Counterpart Contribution to the facility was USD20million, stating that the Project Moratorium was 5 years.
The release also said that as of today, all credit effectiveness conditions set had been met by the State Government and the Project is waiting to be declared effective by the World Bank.
According to the governor, the role of the Federal Government in the transaction was purely to provide sovereign guarantee as required by the World Bank and not a gesture of love of the President for the people of Oyo State “as garrulously gloated on by the Junior Minister of the FCT and in no way did the Federal Government provide a single kobo towards the credit.”
Chiding Akinjide for this unbecoming act, the governor said that even an elementary school pupil would be able to make a distinction between the above developmental project and the Lagos- Ibadan expressway quoted by Ms. Akinjide as achievement of the federal government.
The governor said that it was a measure of the kind of cerebral government currently in the state that gave the state the World Bank intervention, stating that in the previous eight years before his government, as confirmed by the bank, development partners had literally ran from the state due to its uncertainty and the questionable intellectual credentials of those who ran governments then.
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