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    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    World Bank Warns Against Mismanagement of Resources

    The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, yesterday warned beneficiaries of the bank’s financial interventions that there would be zero-tolerance for poor use of the resources.
    Speaking in Enugu at the Country Performance Portfolio Review (CPPR) meeting for South-south and South-east states, she also said the country needed to attain faster growth rate in order to curb extreme poverty.
    It also emerged that the total monthly internally-generated revenue(IGR) of Enugu state now stands at about N14 billion. The state government said through a representation from the state planning commission that it intended to realise 50 per cent of its total revenue from IGR while working towards managing public debt in a way that does not create problem for the state.

    Also yesterday, the Cross River State government made a passionate appeal to the World Bank to redeem the state from the “sad and embarrassing” situation it had found itself following the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa-Ibom state.

    The Supreme Court had ruled in July 2012 that the 76 disputed oil wells claimed by Cross River State belonged to Akwa Ibom.
    In a presentation to participants, the Cross River State Planning representative said its commitment to implementing various capital projects that could be of immense benefit to its people had further been hampered by a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive to banks to refrain from extending credit to the state.

    It added that the situation had dealt “a big blow and killer punch” on the capacity of the state to undertake crucial empowerment initiatives.

    Notwithstanding, it said the development had encouraged the state to step up efforts to boost its IGR and strengthen public-private partnerships (PPP).
    Meanwhile, the World Bank Country Director also called for enhanced management of resources by the Nigerian government in order to further improve the living condition of its people.

    She noted that Bretton Woods institution’s contribution to Nigeria was only two per cent of annual federal government budget, implying that if resources were well-managed, much could still be achieved even without the bank’s aid.

    Marie-Nelly said although more states were currently seeking partnership with the bank, there is the need to emphasis good practices in project implementation and install mechanisms to ensure that projects are embedded in state strategies, implementation and monitoring arrangements.

    Noting that about 63 per cent of the Nigerian population still lived on less than $1.25 per day, she said there was need to promote shared prosperity, stressing that its goal was to decrease the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 per day to 3 per cent by 2030 from the current 20 per cent.
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