By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Oyo State Governor, Sen Abiola Ajimobi has called for a total restructuring of the existing relationship between the state government and World Bank in other to ensure accelerated implementation and better delivery of projects.
Ajimobi stated this on Monday when he received the World Bank delegation in his office led by its Country Director, Engr Benmessaoud Racchid.
According to him, I am not really happy with the slow response you give to the execution of some of your projects in this state.
“When we arrive in office, we notice that some of the projects proposed by World Bank for my predecessor were not implemented. I also remembered that when there was flooding in Oyo State on August, 2011, we contacted World Bank but they did not intervene immediately, it was treated as a long term measure.
“Also, most of the World Bank projects were not transparent enough and it’s unacceptable to our government. World Bank should ensure that their projects are clearly implemented and should be timely executed for efficiency”
The governor who noted that education is the largest industry in the state, appeal to World Bank to assist in the state to improve the standard of education.
He said:” You can also help us in the area of environment to manage flooding and erosion, water supply and rehabilitation of dams. Also in the health sector, World bank can help to provide drugs and hospital equipment to reduce maternal deaths.
“In the area of agriculture, Oyo State is blessed with the largest arable land in the South and we need to add value chain if you can assist us. We have the potential to grow rice and cassava in commercial quantity The state government on its own has began the Oyo Agricultural Initiative to improve the agricultural sector in the state. “
Earlier in his remark, World Bank country representative, Engr. Benmassaond Racchid explained that the World Bank currently has six projects in the state cutting across community development project, agriculture, HIV/AIDS and stressed the need to permanently fix the system particularly in this era of financial stress in Nigeria.
“The projects cost about $241 million. This state has the power to over its challenges when we work together as a team. We are facing challenges on how to execute our projects due to portfolio problems. We are interested in assisting the state in the areas of education and rural roads. We have made our request known to the Ministry of Finance” he said
Racchid also noted that the world bank had received request for assistance from the state on education, rural road network for agricultural development, amongst others, and express willingness to assist.