World Bank Chief Operating Officer in Nigeria, Mrs. Joy Agne has urged the 19 states participating in the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Projects (NEWMAP) to quickly meet the bank requirements to enable them access the $400m loan.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of a four-day workshop for 19 states on the commencement of World Bank supervision Mission of NEWMAP on Wednesday in Katsina, Agne said: “The four day workshop is organized by World Bank officials to educate the management staff of 19 participating states in Nigeria on how to access the 400 million Dollars additional funds.
“The staff of the Bank will teach NEWMAP coordinating officers on ways to meet the necessary requirements set by the bank before March 2019 as the World Bank may likely push the money to another sector if the states failed to meet the requirements”.
“We are calling on the participating states to hasten and meet the world Bank requirement before March 2019 in order to benefit from the projects. The Bank wants the participating states to enact the laws and be ready to sign all the necessary agreements that will make erosion control possible. For now, Enugu and Katsina states are the only states that have created enabling environment for the NEWMAP projects to commence,” she said
The National Coordinating Officer, NEWMAP, Alhaji Dahiru Salisu, said that the NEWMAP project belongs to Nigeria and is being supported by the World Bank.
“The world bank is ready to assist Nigeria to control its erosion without waiting for Legislative Budget. The World Bank money is most difficult funds to spend as it needs certain requirements to meet before accessing it. This workshop is designed by the World Bank to meet, interact and know the commitment of participating states in order to know their area of training needs” he said
The coordinating officer added that the bank had set aside $900m but later realized that it would not be enough for the control of erosion in Nigeria, while disclosing that the European investment Bank had promised to pump $200m into the project.