By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has expressed his desire to collaborate with the World Bank in revamping decayed infrastructures in the state.
The governor said the state was willing to collaborate with the World Bank due to what he described as the vast experience of the international finance institution in various countries across the world in the area of development.
The governor, who stated this while playing host to the Country Director of the World Bank, Mr. Onno Ruhl, and other top management staff of the bank at Government House, Benin City, appealed to the management of the bank to make creative contributions to governance in the state by rendering technical support and monetary donations to the state government to facilitate programmes of the government.
According to him â€œI think with what we have done now, we can boast that we have a greater insight to the challenges that we face and we have the will to deal with them. And that is why we felt that with the World Bank, you have the experience, the exposure in many countries, and we think that we can benefit from your experience.
â€œYou can help us with technical support, not just financial backing, but also the technical support and know-how, of course, plus the dollars and Euro preferably, to back up some of our initiatives, so that we can improve in government processes and procedures as well as service delivery.
â€œWhatever you can help us to achieve in this area, the people of Edo State will be grateful to you and the World Bank.â€
Oshiomhole, who also commented on some of the efforts by his administration to combat the serious state of dilapidation and rot in public education, said the government might withdraw its N2.7 billion counterpart fund for the N5 billion UBE funds now trapped in the Central Bank, if the state assembly refused to confirm the nominees for the UBE board.
Oshiomhole also said the government had also succeeded in employing 2,000 youths under the Edo Youths Employment Scheme designed to generate 10,000 jobs in the state, adding that a minimum wage of N10,000 was being paid to non-graduates, while those with degrees were receiving higher salary to actualize the desire to grow the economy for the private sector to assume the driverâ€™s seat.
He said the government had been able to raise the internally generated revenue of the state by 200 percent through a sustained aggressive revenue drive.
The Country Director of the World Bank, Ruhl, assured that the World Bank would assist the state government in the area of setting up systems designed to make governance morÃ© effective in the state.
He said the government had a responsibility to respond to the yearnings of the citizenry by delivering in the area of education, infrastructure, health and sanitation, just as he stated that the World Bank was interested in knowing the priority areas of the government and the various challenges confronting it.