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World Bank deplores project implementation in Nigeria

22 May 2013, 09:08

Asaba - The World Bank in Asaba on Tuesday deplored the implementation of its projects in Nigeria, saying it was at a slow pace.

Verena Fritz, a Senior Governance Specialist at the bank, expressed the view  when she led a five-member delegation to the Commissioner for Economic Planning in Delta, Chief Kenneth Okpara.

Fritz said that the poor trend of World Bank projects programmes implementation had been observed around the country in the last 10 years.

She, however, said the organisation had initiated strategies to tackle the challenge, adding that State Employment Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) was one of the new measures being adopted to address the issue.

She said it was to ensure that the “bad habits” that inhibited speedy execution of its programmes that the bank decided to visit states where it planned to situate some new projects, including SEEFOR.

"This is the reason we are in Delta State and we have come to identify opportunities in the state and discuss how the bank can support the government, especially in public finance management.

"We will also want to know what we can provide to support the SEEFOR programme in the state before its implementation,” she said.

She also said that the mistakes of the past should be avoided.

Okpara advised the bank to also liaise with the legislative arm of government in the states where it was interested in giving assistance rather than collaborating with only the executive.

Okpara said the relationship between the lawmakers in the states and the executive had made it necessary that they should be involved in all developmental matters, especially those from international organisations and donor agencies.

"When you create awareness on your programmes at the states houses of assembly, it will help to minimise some of the challenges which usually occur between the executive and the legislative,” he said.

He said that the lawmakers had a vital role to play in the execution and success of any programme or projects at the state and at the federal levels.

He also urged that the bank to involve the civil society organisations, Non-Governmental Organisation ( and other relevant agencies in the execution of its projects at all levels.

On Public Finance Management Reform, Okpara stated that the state had done well in that regard.

"We have made tremendous progress in the area of financial transparency and accountability”.

He, however, observed that the state had some challenges in its public procurement process, saying that the law on it appeared defective and needed some amendment.

"As soon as the law is properly in place, we will set up a structure for public procurement,” he added.

He commended the bank and its team for its continued support to the state and the initiative of the visit to consult on how to "better partner with us”.



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