BY KENECHUKWU OFOMAH
Anambra is to benefit from the three hundred and eighty million United States dollars provided by the World Bank for Community and Social Development Projects, in twenty states in Nigeria.
The Community and Social Development initiative which has an implementation span of five years, targets to improve the standards of living in communities by sustainably increasing access of the poor to improved social and natural resource infrastructure services.
The project which is co-financed by the Federal government and the benefitting state governments focuses on achieving the set goal of addressing poverty challenges through community development driven interventions.
As part of criteria to benefit from the package, the State Government has set up a thirteen member agency to provide overall policy guidance for the effective implementation of the initiative in the State.
The agency which was inaugurated by Governor Willie Obiano at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia has the traditional ruler of Nteje, Igwe Rowland Odegbo as its Chairman and other members drawn from relevant Ministries, Civil Society Organizations and the State Traditional Rulers Council.
Inaugurating the Agency, Governor Obiano revealed that the state has met all the requirements for accessing the fund, including payment of its annual counterpart contribution of fifty million naira and recruitment of staff to oversee the implementation.
Noting that the initiative will promote the realization of the community choose-your-project initiative of his administration, Governor Obiano charged the agency to ensure that the project is implemented in line with World Bank standards.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr Mark Okoye, whose Ministry co-ordinates the programme, lauded the Governor’s commitment towards empowering the poor and vulnerable through his prompt approval for the state to key into the programme.
Responding, the Chairman of the Agency, Igwe Odegbo expressed gratitude to the Governor for giving them the opportunity to serve the State assuring that they will deliver on their mandate.
BY KENECHUKWU OFOMAH