Fast Track Erosion Projects In South East, Gov. Obi Begs World Bank
Gov. Obi has appealed to the World Bank to fast track work on erosion sites in the South-East in the interest of the people of the States who are the ultimate beneficiaries. He made this appeal yesterday during a meeting between him and the World Bank team led by its Country Director, Marie Francaise Marie-Nelly.
Obi, who was accompanied to the meeting by the State Commissioner for Planning , whose office oversees the relationship with International agencies, Prof. Stella Okunna and the Permanent Secretary in charge of Abuja office, Dr. Beatrice Okonkwo, said he remained grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan for going beyond promises to actual tackling of the menace through the Federal Government and international organizations’ collaboration with the Governments of the South-East geo-political Zones. He described the South-East as the worst erosion ravaged area in the sub Saharan Africa, and said he was optimistic that the intervention by the World Bank would go a long way in ensuring eco stability.
In implementing so many erosion work in the Zone, Obi who said that time was of essence, canvassed for a situation whereby money for the projects would move directly from the World Bank to the contractors since, according to him, passing through Governments would end up creating what he called “road blocks” that wouldl affect the implementation of the projects.
Speaking during the meeting, the Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank, Dr. Amos Abu said they were usually delighted to have the Governor among them due to his uncommon passion for things that would benefit his people. He recalled how the President, following the representation made by the South-East Governors under the leadership of Gov. Peter Obi, approached the World Bank for categorical assistance to control the menace of erosion in the region. He said that as a result, the World Bank set up a strong team working with the Federal and State Governments of the zone. He said that the team was at the appraisal level that would soon see to the implementation stage.
In a related development, Mr. Alain Gaugris, a statistician with the world bank commended Anambra State for being the first state that came up with Statistics Master Plan for the State; while the Sector Head, African Region, Mrs. Idah Pswarayi Riddihough announced the 1 Million Dollars grant for Onitsha city to develop its own Urban Storm water Master plan from Climate Change funds. She said it was in recognition of Obi’s concern for the environment.
The World Bank Country Director assured that she would personally ensure that the projects went on to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned.