Nigeria Governors Forum has begun steps to access $500 million dollars from the World Bank to improve infrastructure and other development activities in the 36 states of the federation.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar disclosed this yesterday after receiving briefing alongside other governors from some international and local agencies on the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, the governors received assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, that it was fully ready to fund the country’s economy through efficient delivery of its mandate.
“There are funds from the World Bank which states cannot access because we don’t know how to move forward as a result of lack of expertise. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health briefed us on how we can access the $500 million in that area.
“Second, we used to complain of the NNPC, but with the facts we have got today, it is different in the sense that the NNPC is going to be a different organisation. It is going to fund the economy fully in the sense that there won’t be any question of pipeline breaking or stealing of oil. We have taken care of that Instead of using the military only, why don’t we use technology to safeguard our pipelines?” he said.
The Zamfara state governor also disclosed that the meeting with the development partners and the MDAs was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, eight agencies were scheduled to brief the governors but only three could be taken, in a meeting which lasted for over six hours due to time constraint.
He said the other five would be taken next month on a date to be announced later.
The agencies that briefed the governors on Tuesday included NNPC, United Nations Population Fund, UNFP, and the World Bank, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health.
“Today, this meeting with heads of so many agencies which made presentations to us; some of them were ordered by Mr. President to do the presentation so that they make us understand where they are and what they are up to.
“We are supposed to take eight but because of the time constraints, we are only able to take three. We have taken United Nations Population Fund, we have taken the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health on human development. And we have also taken the GMD NNPC.
“By November, we would take those that we are not able to take, such as National Mathematical Centre and the National Communications Commission on the issue of digitalization and also NASENI,” he stated.
The governor added that the exercise would be continued with other agencies so that governors could understand how to move the nation forward.
Yari also stated that there would be more presentations on “the issues of bunkering; pipeline vandalism and the issue of gas pipelines and also how to make the company to be profitable as a mono product company servicing the economy through oil exports,”
Other governors who spoke to newsmen after the event, including Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state and Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, amplified Yari’s submissions and commended President Buhari for facilitating the meeting.