By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITY—The World Bank has assured other states in Nigeria that they can enjoy the loan facility granted to Lagos and Edo states if they embark on reforms that will build strong and lasting institutions that will endure successive governments.
The World Bank through the bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, who stated this in a statement backing the 75 million dollars World Bank loan to Edo State which was approved on April 29, 2015, said: “We expect that this budget support to Edo, like that granted to Lagos State earlier, will have a positive demonstration effect on other states in Nigeria by inspiring them to take on important reforms to build strong systems and institutions that will endure over successive governments”.
While urging the states to work hard in the area of transparency and accountability to enjoy loan facility, the bank pointed out that “ Edo state is strengthening its financial management information system for budget management, strengthening the alignment of the state’s annual budget to the strategic priorities of the government as well as improving financial accountability through timely audits and publication of the state government’s audited financial accounts.
“The programme will also ensure professionalization of the state’s procurement function to improve the management of public procurement in the state. In the area of education, one key reform undertaken by Edo state is the strengthening of governance at the basic education level through the involvement of the established school-Based Management Committees in the monitoring of teacher and pupil attendance at schools” it stated.
Also speaking, the Task Team Leader for the Operation, Gloria Joseph-Raji, said “Development policy financing is an instrument which the Bank uses to support client governments to reduce poverty sustainably through a programme of policy and institutional reforms.”