Thursday, March 5, 2015

World Bank calls Edo State Adams Oshiomhole a stellar example of Governance

World Bank calls Edo State Adams Oshiomhole a stellar example of Governance

World Bank calls the transformation agenda, people- oriented policies, transparency in government, public procurement and good governance of Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State, Nigeria over the past six years stellar

The praise report came through its International Development Agency (IDA), at the commencement of a three-day inspection visit and technical sessions on the Edo State Employment and Expenditure for Results/ Development Policy Operations (Edo SEEFOR/DPO), an IDA assisted programme. 

IDA’s Task Team Leader (TTL), Jens Christensen, praised the state government for meeting conditions that enabled it access an earlier $75 million grant from the World Bank. According to him, “I want to say clearly that the World Bank Group, the IDA, is extra-ordinarily proud to be a partner with Edo state, one of the things we look forward when we want to find people to support them is ownership, drive, vision and ability to deliver and it is clear that when we look across the states in Nigeria Edo state is one of the states we are very proud and happy to be able to partner with. 

“It is clear that in our line of service, we do not want to implement reforms, we do not want to design reform, we want to support the reformers, we want results delivered, we want our counterparts to be in the driver’s seat and we support. 

“It is clear to us that Edo performs. We have seen its involvement in urban and rural infrastructure, drainage, and youth activities and we have also been compared to many other parts of Nigeria on the reform agenda that is taking place.” Oshiomhole has demonstrated that the World Bank’s can support the development and implementation of an open government initiative in Nigeria’s Edo State. 

It reflects upon the process of design and implementation of the first phase of the Edo State Open Government Initiative, which began in 2011 and sought to establish a broader framework for an Open Government ecosystem in the state. 

Phase 1 culminated with the launch of the Edo State Open Data Portal in September 2013, the first sub-national portal in Africa and which contains more than 100 data sets that had not been previously digitized or released to the public. Using this experience as a reference point, the note seeks to surface some lessons learned for effectively partnering with governments (both federal and state) on an open government agenda. At its core, open government is commonly perceived as being comprised of three main pillars: participation, transparency and collaboration. 

The World Bank’s engagement with the Edo State Government in establishing of an Open Government Framework and moving open government ideas forward has resulted in a number of tangible outcomes and public goods. 

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has flagged off a N5.7billion Auchi and N2.7billion Queen Ede Erosion projects to tackle the menacing gully erosion threatening to consume the community, describing it as a historic intervention that will change the fortune of the kingdom. Speaking at the flag-off of the World Bank-assisted project, Oshiomhole said, “We have borrowed N5.7 billion naira to protect this great kingdom of Auchi, to restore hope and to remove the fear and the pain, that people suffer when it rains because that is the primary purpose of government. The loan that the bank gave to us is at an interest rate of less than 1% and it was spread so thinly that we pay painlessly. So it takes a sensible government, competent and transparent for people to access this World Bank facility. 

“I want to congratulate you for witnessing this historic intervention which will change the fortune of this great kingdom and all those who reside in this kingdom. When men or women who are enthroned into office by God conduct themselves under the guidance of God and ensure that justice and fairness rule, then the people will rejoice because they will witness development. “I am really excited at this rare privilege that we are here to formally flag off the restoration and the construction of the Auchi erosion project. 

 The World Bank has announced the approval of a $75million (about N11.25billion) concessional credit facility in support the First Edo State Growth and Employment Support Programme. 

The bank identified the reforms undertaken by the state government to improve the management of public resources to include the enactment of a public procurement law, sanitizing the payroll through use of biometrics technology for identification, use of an integrated financial management information system for budget management, improving transparency in procurement through the publication of contracts awarded, and strengthening external oversight by clearing the backlog of audited financial statements. 

“An improved business climate is critical to attracting investors to Edo, and hence, to generating growth and creating employment opportunities,” she said, adding that the Edo State government has been working on improving the quality of education to meets the demands and needs of the employment market.“One key reform undertaken aims at improving governance at institutional level through the establishment of school-based management committees (SBMCs) in technical and vocational education institutions,” she said. “SBMCs will ensure that communities are involved in school decision-making, that will lead to improved student achievement and other outcomes as the local people demand closer monitoring of school personnel, better student evaluations, a closer match between the school’s needs and its policies, and a more efficient use of resources.

 “Edo State Government is also piloting an Education Management Information System to ensure that there is adequate, accurate, and up to date information for planning, monitoring, and implementation of policies and programs for improving the quality of education. The state governor, Adam Oshiomhole said apart from helping bridge a financing gap for his administration to implement the critical infrastructure projects the state needs to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities, the reforms undertaken by his administration, which has earned it the World Bank’s recognition, would ensure that the state obtains value for money in the utilization of the funds. Azura-Edo one billion dollar power project is a clear demonstration of the confidence of the international community, including World Bank in the economy of Edo State led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. 

It is an indication that Edo State is investor friendly as the Government under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has put in place the necessary infrastructure to attract investors to the state. 

 Recognizing Policy and Institutional Reforms for Growth and Employment Creation: Edo State received $75 million Budget Support from the World Bank WASHINGTON, April 12, 2012– The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on March 29, 2012 approved a US$75 million concessional credit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a First Edo State Growth and Employment Support Program. The approved credit was in the form of budget support similar to that which was extended to the State of Lagos in 2011. 

 Finally, the Edo State Government is also piloting an Education Management Information System to ensure that there is adequate, accurate, and up to date information for planning, monitoring, and implementation of policies and programs for improving the quality of education.

Again Congratulations to Comrade ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE for all the good works!

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