Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday said the state has attracted about $500 million to prosecute various projects under the World Bank assisted programmes, within the last three and a half years.
Dr Fayemi stated this while receiving an award presented to Ekiti State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), for emerging the overall best in Tier- 4 of the World Bank project ahead of 22 other benefiting states.
The Governor, who commended the Ekiti NEWMAP for its exceptional performance in the World Bank Assisted Projects, listed some other World Bank Assisted Projects to include Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), SEPIC, Third National Urban Water Project, European Union support, IDEAS, AGILE and SAWASH among others.
He noted that NEWMAP activities were visible in no fewer than nine communities in the state, with the construction of bridges and channelization of drainages adding that Ado and Efon projects would soon start because the state has been able to procure the European Investment Bank support to prosecute the projects.
The Governor promised to present the draft law of the Project to the state Executive Council for effective consideration and ensuring that it goes through the process to achieve its enactment into law by the state House of Assembly.
“No State has the number of World Bank supported projects that we have either during my first term when we were able to attract the SEPIC project for education and the third National Urban Water Project that we used in rehabilitating both the Ireje and Ikun Dams as well as the European Union support that helped us to rehabilitate the Egbe Dam.
“Since I returned in 2018, we have had NEWMAP, RAAMP, IDEAS for all our Technical Colleges, we’ve had AGILE for our women and Girl Child support, we’ve had SOMEO, we’ve had Malaria project for health and then we have SAWASH
“A lot of my colleagues are always asking, how come Ekiti is always doing projects, because people don’t believe that we don’t have money. We are able to attract these because we are resourceful and we are also able to convince these institutions that we will deliver on the money and we would ensure that these projects are done on time and on cost.
“And if you put it all together, we have received these four years almost $500 Million worth of project support from the World Bank in Ekiti alone. And ours is significant, people may not know the impact of that, for many of it, we have to put in our counterpart funding because they require us to do that to show commitment but every state wants to be on this programme but not every state has been able to make it. And when you put in this level of support, at least a third of it is grant-aided, its free money, two thirds of it is concessional lending to our state, its almost free money, because we have it in most cases with 5 to 10 years moratorium and when we eventually start to pay back, we are paying with 1percent interest rate.” He said.
Earlier, the Ekiti State Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Dr Akinyemi Akinyugha, expressed his appreciation to the Governor for ensuring the success of the projects in the state through his support right from the onset of the programme.
Dr Akinyugha however solicited for the enactment of the laws backing the activities of the projects as well as official recognition of every member of the team by way of commendation.