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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

Government News World News

C’River SLOGOR: World Bank Gives State Govt Pass Mark On Perfomance Index

C’River SLOGOR: World Bank Gives State Govt Pass Mark On Perfomance Index

…as Project officially Closes

The World Bank European Union-assisted State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) Project in Cross River State has received a pass mark for efficient and effective implementation of the projects.

The State Chairman of the Steering Committee of the world bank project and Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr. Inyang Asibong, attributed the efficacy and success of the project in Cross River largely to the enabling environment and the political will of the State Governor, His Excellency, Sen. (Prof.) Ben Ayade

Asibong who was relating the mesaage of the World bank position on SLOGOR to the steering committee,explained that the project with time frame of seven years from 2015 – 2021, has been a success story in Cross River state, despite the teething challenges, a testimony for other participating states to emulate.

According to Commissioner Asibong, from infrastructural development, to training and capacity building of accounting personnel, to provision of devices and services that boosted financial management in the State, the list is endless,they are all success story which the world bank is happy with its execution.

The post intervention assessment conducted by the World Bank as part of the close out modalities for the State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) project which ended officially in March, 2021, Cross River State Government was rated very high amongst other participating states in the Country.

The results from data analysis showed expert execution and positive results across board, using the bespoke SLOGOR checklist, this is a good recommendation coming from the apex global bank” Asibong said .

The Project Coordinator, Mr Joseph Imbufe, said with the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme, and a robust sustainability plan to improve on the overall objective of the financial transparency and prudent management of public finance, he was not expdecting any less result from the project.

Imbufe said despite the lean federal allocation, low funding, meagre Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Cross River State has maintained a reputation for transparency and accountability through a well structured due process and proficient accounting system.

The official closing of the project was attended by the line Ministries Departments and Agencies, including the Ministries of Finance and that of Local Government Affairs, the Budget office, Accountant General , Auditor General, Internal Revenue Service offices amongst others who are core MDAs of the SLOGOR Financial Reform Project.

Government News World News

#EndSars; Cross River Gov’t attracts World Bank support

The Cross River State Government has received support from the World Bank after the destruction of properties during the #EndSars protest that took place in Calabar on Oct. 23 and 24.

After the destruction, the state government through the Ministry of International Development Cooperation had approached the World Bank to render support to the state, especially in the delivery units of the World Bank Assisted Programme, CARES, which is scheduled to commence very soon in the state.

The items donated include furniture, 20 seater conference chairs, air conditioners and inverters, laptop computers and printers, virtual meeting equipment, hybrid inverter with solar among many others.

Speaking after distributing the equipment to the different unit, the Commissioner for MIDC, Dr Inyang Asibong, expressed happiness with the gesture from the World Bank, saying that the distribution was coming at the first day of resumption of duties in the year.

She explained that two result areas of the Ministry, FADAMA and EDF were badly affected during the protest and all the items were destroyed by hoodlums.

According to her, the items will go a long way to enable the staff of the result areas to get back to work in preparation for the CARES programme.

“The CARES is COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus of the government. It is going to be a state owned project and Gov. Ben Ayade is so committed about improving the lives of residents in the state.

“We know that the poverty index in Nigeria is 40.1, and this is really high. Cross River is lower than the national average, 36.3, we want to further reduce that our percentage to atleast a single digit.

“I want to thank the World Bank for coming to our aid at this point in time, and we can assure them we will make the best use of these equipment,” she said.

Also Speaking, Mr Fidel Udie, the Acting General Manager of Community and Social Development Agency, said that the donation confirms the good working relationship between the state government and the World Bank.

Udie said that the donation will now put the state in a good position to participate in the CARES programme, which is a World Bank Assisted Programme.

“These programme is basically meant to target the poor and vulnerable in the society. Offcourse, without these agencies and their platforms been able to have their working tools and be ready for the implementation of the programme, the state cannot join other states for the programme.

“Gov. Ayade was able to follow up with the World Bank and here we have these equipment to help the delivery units to be ready for this programme,” he said.

He mentioned the platforms benefiting from the equipment to include; CSDA, the state coordinating unit, FADAMA, Enterprise Development Funding, Smart City, Public Work Fare and the state Cash Transfer Unit.

Government News World News

World Bank Describes Destruction of CARES Offices In Calabar As a Set Back For C’River Enterprise Development

…….Promises to Identify Areas of Support

The World Bank office in Nigeria has described the wanton destruction and looting of multiple Cross River State MDAs approved for the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) during the recent hoodlums attack in Calabar, as a setback to the Cross River State Enterprise and Economic Development.

The State was among the first states approved by the World Bank CARES Project as a result of its adherence to procurement and due process policy in line with the global apex bank’s guidelines.

The World Bank Representative of the CARES Project and Task Team Lead, Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, made this known in a message to the Cross River Government through the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation and State Coordinator of the CARES Project, Inyang Asibong.

Okunmadewa who mandated the State Coordinator, Dr Asibong, to inspect and give assessment of the damage so as to identify possible areas of collaborative intervention with the State, described the attacks as unwarranted.

MDAs and Projects affected include the CR FADAMA Project which is to implement the Agro component. Also affected are the CR Smartcity Network to implement the ICT component and the CR Enterprise Development Funding Department to implement the MSME component. On ground to inspect the facilities with the Commissioner were the MD of the Cross River Smart City Agency, Mr Julius Agrinya and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Enterprise Development Funding ( EDF), Hon Marjorie Asuquo.

The Smart City Office which houses the data bank of records and documents from Result Area 3 of the C.A.R.E.S Program targeted towards MSME and ICT across the State were completely destroyed and burnt. Also vandalised were the FADAMA office and the EDF office at Prof Eyo Ita House.

Some of the items destroyed or carted away include Data server equipment, fiber rolls, office furniture and stationeries, laptops and electronic gadgets, metal gate, burglary proof, signposts, project vehicles amongst others.

Meanwhile, the team is currently working to ensure activation of the online platform (backup site) starting with the command centre which was earlier put in place by Governor Ben Ayade to forestall complete loss of database in circumstances such as these.