The World Bank has commended Edo State Government for not interfering in the contracting process of the ongoing gully erosion reclamation works at Queen Ede, Auchi and Ekenhuan, under the auspices of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
The World Bank Task Team Leader for NEWMAP, Dr Amos Abu gave the commendation when he led a delegation of officials of the Bank, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and relevant agencies of the Federal Government on a Technical Implementation Support Mission to Edo State.
Dr Abu explained that the officials were on due diligence mission to inspect the ongoing civil works in three gully sites in the state and ascertain the level of compliance with the approved designs, as well as review the designs of the New Sites prepared by the State Government.
He expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done in the state as there was value for money and commitment to transparency and accountability, adding that the World Bank was pleased to partner with Edo State Government.
The Task Team Leader disclosed that the designs being implemented in Edo State and other NEWMAP states were in tandem with international best practices and models and had been tested and successfully used in China, Brazil, and other countries.
He asserted that the projects belonged to Edo State Government while the World Bank and other agencies were only providing technical and financial support, stressing that no single complaint of Government interference had been received from the state during the tendering process.
In his interaction with community members at the various locations, the World Bank chief enjoined the people to take ownership of the project and refrain from dumping waste in unauthorized places.
The team visited the on-going reclamation works at Ekehuan, Queen Ede and Auchi gully erosion sites. They also visited the new sites being considered in the second phase of the project including Gapiona/Upper Adesuwa/Reuben Agho/Ugbor Catchment Area in Benin City, Urora, Ewu, Ibore and Fugar/Agenebode Road.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities and Chairman of Edo State NEWMAP Steering Committee, Prince Clem Agba expressed satisfaction with the progress of work done in all the NEWMAP sites in the state.
Prince Agba, who was visibly elated, explained that the NEWMAP intervention in Edo State clearly showed that the gully erosion reclamation work could be done.
He commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his commitment to the projects, especially the payment of the counterpart fund and moral support in the successful implementation of the project.
The Commissioner stressed that the processes had since begun for intervention in ten new sites which he listed as Gapiona Catchment Area covering Upper Adesuwa, Rueben Agho, 1st and 2nd Ugbor in GRA, Ogiso/Osunde, Edo College, all in Benin City; and Urora, Uhunmwode LGA in Edo South; Ewu, Ibore, Emu and AAU, Ekpoma in Edo Central as well as Igbe Quarters, Auchi, and Fugar/Agenebode Road in Edo North, pointing out that the designs done by an international engineering firm had been sent to the World Bank for necessary approval, hence the joint World Bank and FAO due diligence Mission to the State
He assured the people of the state that the present administration and the in-coming APC government were determined to tackle the problem of gully erosion in the state, adding that there were 108 active gully sites in Edo State needing remediation.
CPS to Edo State Governor
CPS to Edo State Governor