World Bank pumps US$18.5m into employment project of Edo

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The World Bank has confirmed it will would release US$18.5 million to the assist the State for Employment and Expenditure For Results (SEEFOR) projects in Edo in 2019.

Mr Parminder Brar, Task Team Leader of the World Bank, when he led a team of  the bank’s officials  to pay a courtesy call on  Governor Godwin Obaseki  at Government House in Benin on Tuesday.

Brar said the performance of the state in the execution of World Bank projects in the outgoing year led to the release of another tranche of 18.5 million US dollars to it.

He said the amount was for the completion of 59 sub-projects, which would provide jobs for about 9,000 youths in the next twelve months.

The Task Team Leader assured the governor that SEEFOR would also support Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) in the state.

He said the bank was pleased with the progress recorded at the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC), to which the bank had committed $2 million.

“Edo is on the front-line of using Integrated Financial Management Information System, but I urge the state to pass the proposed audit bill.

“We have planned a one-week Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention and have brought all the SEEFOR states to learn from the Edo experience. Edo is doing well”, Brar said.

In his remarks, Obaseki thanked the World Bank for its intervention in the state, saying that SEEFOR project had helped the state to domesticate a number of development models.

He expressed the willingness to assist sister states in the SEEFOR programme but called for a switch to an open system to enable inter-platform interaction.

“We understand what SEEFOR is all about and are ready to assist our sister states in the sub-region. We are open and willing to share our experiences and knowledge with them.

“We now have our own home-grown SEEFOR for which we are committing N5 billion of our fund to be managed by the SEEFOR team,” he said.

The governor assured the delegation of speedy transmission of the draft document of the proposed Audit Bill to the Edo House of Assembly for its necessary action.