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WB NEW PHASE OF EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND TAKES OFF IN ANAMBRA

By Mazi Odera

The Anambra State Government has inaugurated three committees to drive the Institutional Arrangement for the State and Local Government Reform Project of the tenth European Development Fund. The committees were inaugurated during a meeting of the State government, European Union, World Bank and NationalPlanning Office at the Governor's Lodge.

Anambra is one of the six EU focal States selected for the tenth EDF because of its outstanding performance in the ninth EDF Programme. The Programme will cover water and sanitation programmes as well as reforms in public service delivery.

Governor Obi urged members of the steering, technical and implementation committees to work hard to ensure the success of the programme and justify the confidence reposed in them. He explained that reform in management of public finance was critical in the country today to enhance efficient and prudent utilization of available resources. The Governor observed that the collaboration with donor agencies was assisting the State to fill budgetary gaps.

He expressed satisfaction that his administration has restored civility in governance and was rebuilding quality human infrastructure to effectively manage physical infrastructure.

The State Authorizing Officer for UNICEF and EU programmes and Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Prof. Okunna recalled that in spite of joining the programme newly, the State performed remarkably well in the ninth EDF Programme out of the participating states.

The Leader of the World Bank Team, Mr. Ikechukwu Nweje said the bank would be in charge of the programme that would gulp sixty million Euros for the six benefiting States. Mr. Nweje explained that the programme would, among other things ,help the State to build institution and capacity to sustain governmentprogrammes and would concentrate on public financial management, procurement system and local government system.