World Bank Grants Edo State $75m (N11.8b) Concessional Credit
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved the sum of US$ 75 million (11.8 Billion Naira) concessional credit for the first Edo State Growth and Employment Support Programme.
The fund will be in the form of budget support similar to that which the bank extended to Lagos State last year.
Communication Associate/External Affairs, Africa Region (AFRSC) of World Bank, Bamidele Oladokun, who confirmed this in an email, noted that the fund was in recognition of critical policy and institutional reforms that the Edo State government had undertaken to improve the management of public resources in the implementation of an infrastructure-oriented development strategy and creation of a better environment for growth and employment generation through a more conducive investment climate and higher quality of education.
Among the reforms on improving the management of public resources in Edo State, according to the bank, included the enactment of a public procurement law, sanitising the payroll, through the use of biometrics technology for identification, use of an integrated financial management information system for budget management, improving transparency in procurement, through the publication of contracts awarded, and strengthening external oversight by clearing the backlog of audited financial statements.
According to the bank, “the policy reforms will ensure value for money in the utilisation of public resources, while critical reforms for improving the investment climate focus on establishing a platform for a modern land information system will be central to the process of streamlining procedures for acquiring property rights.”
Mr Oladokun quoted the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, as saying that, “Following the board’s approval of a similar credit for Lagos State last year, this marks yet another milestone in Nigeria’s path to improving public service delivery through improved governance at state level and therefore, contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”