Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
The World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud said yesterday that Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu remains a top performer in the bank’s programmes.
He gave the commendation during an appraisal meeting held at the World Bank, Nigeria Office, Abuja, where comprehensive assessment of how States have fared in their collaborations with the bank in several areas of interventions were reviewed.
He also commended the ingenuity of Ikpeazu, which he said has made Abia State to remain a top performer in practically all the areas where World Bank programmes are involved.
He lauded the governor on the works done by Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), stating that he has provided great and strong leadership and shown personal commitment to the success of NEWMAP in Abia State.
“This commitment by the governor has resulted to stronger confidence on our part and more projects are underway. Indeed, the Abia NEWMAP will soon host the biggest NEWMAP project in Nigeria”, he stated.
He emphasized that “Abia has the most organized and fastest NEWMAP system in Nigeria”, pointing out that the State is uniquely different both in terms of payment of counterpart funds and the organizational efficiency.
This, according to him, has manifested in top quality infrastructure and erosion control projects, both completed and ongoing ones in the State.
Mr. Benmessaoud said that Abia has performed creditably in the payment of counterpart funds, but noted that there are some areas the State equally needs improvement. He challenged the State to put more efforts in those areas.
Responding, Ikpeazu made a firm commitment that the State would improve significantly in the areas of the programmes that need improvements, assuring that few areas where the State has not scored up to 100% would receive immediate attention.
He thanked the World Bank for her consistent support to the State and assured that his administration will continue to keep faith with the programmes of the bank.