The Delta State Government has appealed to the World Bank and other international donor agencies not to relent in their support for the state, particularly in the area of infrastructural and human capital development.
The state commissioner for Finance, Chief Kenneth Okpara made the plea yesterday in his office in Asaba while playing host to officials of The World Bank who were in the State on assessment visit to ascertain the progress recorded so far on the World Bank, European Union and Delta State sponsored State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) projects.
Okpara noted that the plea became imperative at this particular material time, given the dwindling global oil price, a commodity that is one of the major stay of the state economy, stressing that the unstable price of the commodity has been affecting the economy of the state.
Okpara told the visiting World Bank officials that as part of deliberate effort by the state government to sustain the state economy beyond oil which he noted could dry up anytime, the present administration in the state has since initiated an economic programme, tagged; â€œDelta Beyond Oilâ€ where attention is being shifted to other sources of revenue other than oil.
Specifically, the state government is asking the World Bank and other donor agencies to extend hands of fellowship and assistance to its Health Sector, Education and infrastructural developments, among others. â€œSEEFOR is one of the programmes of the World Bank that is helping this government in driving our â€˜Delta Beyond Oilâ€™ vision. This is why we owe the World Bank, European Union and the Federal Government a whole lot of gratitudeâ€ Okpara said.
While commending the World Bank and European Union for partnering the state in its poverty reduction and employment generation drives through the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) projects in the state, Okpara explained that Health and Education sector are critical to the administration of the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that between 2013 and June this year, the World Bank and European Union through the SEEFOR Project had injected about N300Million for the reactivation of Six Technical Colleges and three skill acquisition centres in Delta State. The Technical Colleges include; ; Agbor Technical College, Issele-Uku Technical College, Ofagbe Technical College, Ogor Technical College, Utagbe-Ogbe Technical College and Sapele Technical College.
Responding, the Task Team Leader, World Bank, Mr. Jens Kristensen reassured the Commissioner of the Bankâ€™s position to sustain its support for the state and other states in the country, just as he noted that Delta State has recorded tremendous achievement in the implementation of the SEEFOR project.
Source: Daily Times