By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, has intensified lobbying of the management team of the World Bank over the need for partnership between the state and the bank for a multilateral international network to design and implement a comprehensive reform agenda that will include investment framework.
Already, the Bayelsa State governor has led the state economic team to a meeting at the corporate headquarters of the World Bank in Washington D.C, United States, to outline the state efforts at building a strong institution for good governance and sustainable development.
Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa yesterday, the state Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Dr. Silva Opuala-Charles, said the governorâ€™s visit and appeal was part of the outcome of the meeting between officials of the state government and World Bank at the Corporate Head office of the World Bank in Washington D.C United States of America.
Dr. Opuala-Charles said the governor, in his presentation at the meeting titled â€œBuilding Strong Institutions for Governance and Sustainable Developmentâ€, restated the commitment of his administration to build institutions and modernize a system that will be an attractive investment climate.
He said the governor took time to explain that the inauguration of the multi working group of Bayelsa Expenditure and Income Transparency Initiative (BEITI) developed in collaboration with the George Soros Foundation and the Revenue Watch Institute, a strong Due Process mechanism and the public sector reform are initiatives taken by his administration to deepen the principles of transparency and accountability which he noted had been applauded by Fitch Rating.
Sylva, he said had, also expressed delight over the recent World Bank Public Finance Management report on Bayelsa State which highly rated the tax legislation and system as well as reconciliation of treasury bank accounts and timely preparation of financial statement.
The World Bank report, the Bayelsa governor explained, highlighted fiscal discipline, budget formulation and execution, internal controls, payroll management, procurement as well as transparency and external audits as other areas that will require further work by the World Bank and the state government.
The governor said â€œthe desire of my administration is to ensure greater engagement with the Bank group, especially the International Development Association, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the International Finance Corporation.
â€œWe have embarked on major reforms in Public Finance Management and education sectors and it is expedient to partner with the World Financial Organization in the area of Infrastructure, Health and Agricultureâ€.
Under the Medium Term Expenditure framework, MTEF, the governor said the government has completed eleven pilot sectors, emphasizing that eight more sectors will be added this year.
He disclosed that the World Bank was providing resources to support the governmentâ€™s MTEF and MTSS for the 2010 to 2012 cycle that will increase credibility and provide more reliable linkage in terms of budget, policy and planning efforts.