Tuesday, 5 March 2019

World Bank assisted project attributes success to Gov Ayade's commitment

Our Correspondent|5 March 2019 

Implementation of the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) has been very successful in Cross River State, with the approval, funding and completion of several projects by communities and vulnerable groups. The success has been attributed to the commitment of His Excellency Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade, the digital Governor of Cross River State.

The General Manager of the World Bank assisted project in the state, Pastor Victor Ovat stated in his assessment of the projects that the outcomes are in line with the Project Development Objectives of CSDP in the state and contributes in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Pastor Ovat said that HE Senator (Prof) Ayade has been a key player in the project in Nigeria as he was the first Governor to meet all the World Bank conditions for effectiveness of the Project in Nigeria which included payment of the mandatory government contribution of N150,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira), only. The release of the 150million by Gov Ayade enabled the Federal Government to meet the World Bank cut-off date for Project effectiveness in the Country. It should be noted that, Nigeria would have lost the opportunity of accessing the World Bank credit if Governor Ayade had not fulfilled the effectiveness conditions then.

He confirmed that the intervention has increased access of the very poor and vulnerable to improved social and natural resource infrastructure services such as; health care, potable water, improved access to farmlands, school facilities etc, in the state.

The General Manager observed that the commitment of the Senator Prof. Ben Ayade to fund the project coupled with the eagerness of the communities have led to the many achievements and outcomes recorded.

Ovat revealed that the health sector for instance received the second largest allocation of funds with over N100,000,000.00 (one hundred million naira), and 26 micro projects credited to the sector.

He noted that by these intervention, over 19,000 rural people are accessing quality health care services today courtesy of the Community and Social Development Additional Financing (CSDP-AF) Initiative. The provision of functional health facilities in the rural areas is a bold step towards the realization of the desired Universal health coverage and complementary of the government industrialization drive in the state as only healthy people can be gainfully involved in economic activities.

He commended the Cross River State Government for quick service delivery and response to the deployment of staff and provision of drugs and other consumables to health facilities supported by the Project.

Speaking from the beneficiary point of view, a member of the Association of Special People Group Development Plan, Adum, in Yala LGA of CRS, Mrs. Diana Irek, a women leader recalled when she used to trek for over 9kms to access health facilities and said the Governor through the CSDA has changed lives particularly that of women, children and the vulnerable, especially in the rural areas.

She said so many lives have already been lost before the intervention but was however grateful for the humanitarian gesture towards the people today.

Speaking on the health benefits, a community leader, Chief Francis Ebi of Benekaba Community in Yala LGA of the state, said that the coming of the project has reduced the death rate drastically and has brought about very healthy families.

While at the Electricity Extension Project in Okpenehi, Yahe in Yala Local Government, another community leader, Chief Denis Oboh, a retired Director in the Cross River State Judiciary acknowledged the benefits of Electricity and described it as a catalyst for development. 

In order to sustain the gains of this intervention and expand the spread of intervention across the state, commitment to greater buy-in in terms of funding remains germane. With that in place, more communities and vulnerable groups who have expressed interest to participate can be lifted above the vulnerability threshold with attendant reduction of poverty in the state.

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