TO ensure that credits granted to Nigeria by the World Bank work for the benefit of the citizens of the country, the Bretton Woods institution has undertaken a stocktaking of its $4.84 billion (about N774 billion) projects in the country.
The Nigerian portfolio of the World Bank is made up of 27 projects worth $4.84 billion sectorally distributed as follows: Human Development - $ 1.130 billion (25 per cent); Sustainable Development -$2.452 billion (53 per cent); Financial and Private Sector- $275million (six per cent); and Governance and Economic Reforms- $735 million (16 per cent).
The Nigerian portfolio has an average project age of 3.7 years. Only 34 per cent of the committed amount has so far been disbursed. The World Bank yesterday said its total value of assisted projects represented five per cent of Nigeria’s budget. A statement by Mr. Bamidele Oladokun, the bank’s Communications Associate in the Nigerian Country Office at the end of the 2012 half year performance said the Nigerian Project Teams had committed themselves to achieving faster results of the World Bank-funded projects in the country.
He said the project teams met from June 25 to 26 in Abuja to discuss how to achieve faster results for Nigeria through improved project management and accelerated implementation, adding that project coordinators along with their procurement, financial, and M& E staff from federal and state level implementation units engaged in a review of their action plans to improve overall project performance and impact on the ground. The statement noted: “The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly told project staff all over the country to work as a strong team to deliver results on ground. She said that to achieve greater results, there was a need for coordinated action and involvement of all stakeholders to enhance project quality and disbursement.
Participants agreed that to enhance implementation there was the need for better communication and consultation, constant briefing and involvement of key relevant government officials and chief executives both at federal and state levels. It was agreed that the governors forum would henceforth be used to introduce the work of the World Bank- assisted projects to state authorities. At the end of the review meeting, some participants described the meeting as extremely useful and innovative in its structure.
“The most important lesson from this workshop was that as PIU’s we should collaborate more closely with the bank’s team and our TTLs to solve problems with respect to project implementation,” said Sutura Aisha Bello, Project Coordinator, Public Private Partnership Project, and ICRC. The Commissioner of Water Resources and Project Coordinator, Cross River State, Elemi Etowa said: “This meeting has buttressed the need for active involvement of beneficiaries from project identification stage through implementation to completion. The promotion of team work is also key to achieving great results.”
On his part, Dayo Mobereola, Coordinator, Lagos Urban Transport Project-2 said: “I have learnt the need to enhance leadership and increase internal stakeholder awareness, participation and buy-in to broaden ownership of the project for multi-dimensional solutions to problems to ensure success of the project.”