Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has solicited for assistance from the World Bank, particularly in the areas of agriculture, poverty reduction and capacity building sectors. Ortom in a statement issued by his Adviser on Media and ITC, Tahav Agerzua quoted the governor requested for the assistance when he paid a courtesy call on the Country Director of the bank, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly in her Abuja office. “I see the World Bank as a partner for progress, for adding value to the development of the state particularly in agriculture and poverty reduction,” Governor Ortom stated. “We solicit assistance in capacity building and other support programs, we’ll partner with you and fulfill our obligations.” According to Ortom, the bank has a reservoir of expertise in several areas, which the state could take advantage of in its efforts to tackle challenges of development.
Meanwhile, the governor has said his priority at the moment was to pay workers June 2015 salaries and thereafter make efforts to clear the backlog of arrears even as he appealed to striking lecturers of the Benue State University to call off their strike. He appealed to youths to eschew crime and rather serve God who he said had the power to uplift them even as he pledged to partner with the church to deliver on his mandate. Governor Ortom pledged that his administration would fight corruption and reduce it to zero level in order to ensure that whatever is appropriated for projects will surely be utilized for that purpose. In her response the country director, Marie-Nelly, disclosed that the bank had $4 billion available for investment in Nigeria in the remaining half of the year. She listed areas of intervention to remove constraints to growth to include power generation and transmission, long term financing for sectors with growth potential and small, and medium enterprises as well as agricultural productivity.
Source: The Guardian