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What’s happening to World Bank funded APPEALS programme in Cross River State? – Inyali Peter

Again, just like in 2016 or 2017, the World Bank funded APPEALS programme is on the verge of collapse in Cross River State. While other states have completed implementation of several batches, Cross River, after over three years into the project are yet to successfully a single batch.

This project is a five years programme. The Cross River contract like other states is left with less than two years to end yet no single programme have been concluded.

In His Excellency, Sen. Liyel Imoke’s administration, the state provided funds for its counterparts funding which was why beneficiaries got up to N3m grant. But now, unexpectedly, the State government has said no money which is why the grant has dropped from about N3m to around N2m yet, no success still.

Part of the project includes World Bank releasing funds for infrastructural development. Other states have completed construction of roads, schools, etc from this project. In Imoke’s administration, alot of infrastructural projects were completed including some community roads that I know in Obudu.

But now, no single infrastructural project has been completed despite World Bank giving approval for the implementation of this aspect of the project. What’s happening?

Although beneficiaries have started receiving alerts but those alerts are useless because they can’t access the funds. And if government and APPEALS management don’t agree on how to engage service providers to commence implementation, the money will be there till when the project ends, World Bank will retrieve the funds back.

There are only two reasons why this project that’s thriving in other states is failing in Cross River. Either the state government is having unnecessary interference with the view to tamper with the funds, which as part of the rules of the Programme, World Bank forbids, then it’s as a result of the incompetence of the current Management team.

I’m investigating to unravel more facts and I’ll publish the outcome of investigation no matter who’s ox is gored. However, before that, I want to appeal to relevant government authorities and officials, including the Governor and the project managers to address whatever is delaying the implementation of this programme so that Cross Riverians who have benefited can be paid, access their funds to set up their businesses.

It took several articles from me which attracted Nigeria’s World Bank country Cordinator to intervene before the government allowed the process continued in the only one that has been implemented by this administration. More than six hundred Cross Riverians were empowerred with over N3m each. Besides, that was part of the last set of the Imoke administration’s project. But since the project was renewed under this administration, no single implementation has been done.

This is about our state and our teeming youths and women who are beneficiaries of this project. We can’t continue to keep quite when some top people continue to frustrate the exercise for selfish reasons. Thus, I call on well meaning Cross Riverians and the media to look into this programme and speak up. It’s about all of us; not APC or PDP.

Already, the state is behind other states and there’s high risk that the project may not be renewed. Even the funds available to the state now may not be exhausted and World Bank will retrieve what’s left. So, let the Government and Managers of the programme not kill this great project that the Imoke administration attracted to the State.

Inyali Peter


Chief Publisher of BLU EEAGLE MEEDIA

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