Kano, Anambra, others benefit from EDF $78m grant

By The Citizen

The European Development Fund (EDF) has granted $78 million to develop water and sanitation projects, as well as to strengthen governance in six states of Nigeria.

The World Bank task team in charge of state and local government projects led by Ikechukwu Nweje, made this known in Awka on Wednesday at a meeting of the bank and the European Union (EU). The states are Anambra, Cross River, Kano, Jigawa, Osun and Yobe.

Nweje explained that the implementation of the programme in the states was a collaboration between the two foreign donors.

He said that the meeting was to assess the preparedness of the state and local governments for the implementation of the reform in July.

'We have to work with the state and local government officials to build institutions, capacity and procurement system.

'We will ensure that funds given to the local government areas for the purpose of implementation, are judiciously spent,'' the team leader said.

Nweje said that the partnership between the bank and the EU was to ensure that the reform was effectively carried out, pointing out that commitment by the state government was very vital to its success.

Responding, Gov. Peter Obi pledged the commitment of the state in ensuring the success of the programme.

He noted that building of human and institutional infrastructure was critical to the success of every programme.

'If we manage public finance well in the building of institution, we will go a long way in our development drive.

'We have managed donor funds very well in Anambra, therefore, we are prepared for implementation of the reform,'' he stressed.

In a speech, the Commissioner for Economic Planning  and Budget, Prof. Stella Okunna, gave the assurance that the government would do all that was required for the commencement of the project in the state in July.

The steering, technical and core committees were later constituted for the project implementation.