The Governor Dapo Abiodun-led Ogun State Government has secured a $250 million loan facility from the World Bank for various developmental projects in the state.
Ogun State is one of the six projects approved by the world financial institution to support development priorities across the country, including improving immunisation, enabling a stronger business environment for the private sector, expanding the digital economy to promote job creation, and increasing public and private sector capacity on governance and social and environmental safeguards.
“Nigeria is central to the World Bank Group’s mission of tackling extreme poverty. The World Bank is carefully targeting its support on high impact projects as the country works to tackle corruption and lift 100 million of its people out of poverty,” said President, World Bank Group, David Malpass.
To this end, Ogun State Economic Transformation Project is expected to improve private investment in the state by improving the business environment, strengthening the linkages between agricultural producers, suppliers and service providers, and providing training and apprenticeships for women and farmers.
Among some of the key results, the project would facilitate collaboration between farmers and agribusinesses, improve STEM teaching in up to 70 per cent of public secondary schools. This would be financed through an IDA credit of $250 million.
The state government, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Public Communications, Remmy Hazzan, said the World Bank approval was the outcome of various interactions between the Abiodun administration and the officials of the bank, during which the governor was able to discuss his economic blueprint and development roadmap for the state.
It would be recalled that the project facility suffered a major setback and in fact was reduced from the original amount of $350 million because of the slow utilisation of the initial preparatory allowance of $5 million and the poor implementation of the preparatory phases of the project facility by the previous administration.
But, Abiodun was able to convince the bank’s officials on the judicious application of the fund with the developmental programnes, already earmarked for execution in various parts of the state.
The governor has already created an office within his office to accommodate officials of the bank, who would be involved in project execution, disbursement of the fund and monitoring the implementation of the approved projects.
Abiodun expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the confidence reposed in his administration, even as he promised to ensure efficient utilisation of the fund.
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