By G9ija

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that he is sustaining legacies of his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole especially as it related to the state government relationship with the World Bank.

Governor Obaseki said the state government engagement with the World Bank since 2010 has been productive.

Obaseki who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, spoke in Bénin City at a one day workshop organised by Edo SEEFOR with the theme Sustainability of Social Accountability in Public Sector.

He said the World Bank was not ready to work with any state that does not have the political will to implement its policies such as the Open budget system,

He stated that Edo was the first state in the country to publish any contract above N10m in its official website for public scrutiny and to ensure accountability in government.

Governor Obaseki said over 30,000 jobs have been created in the state through World Bank intervention in the last seven years.

Obaseki disclosed that he approved the sum of N6 billion to complement activities of SEEFOR in the state as financing from World Bank is gradually drying up.

He said all hands must be on deck to do the needful to promoting voluntary accountability in order to consign corrupt practices to the dustbin of history.

According to him, “Edo state government has generated over 50,000 jobs through the intervention of SEEFOR alone in the last seven years.

“Edo state is the first state in Nigeria to publish on its website all contracts above N10M million. With the support of SEEFOR, we have been able to pass into law the Public Financial Management law, the Auditing law and others.

“We also commend the federal government for making Edo benefit from the European Union component of SEEFOR which is to complement the World Bank assisted funding for employment of young people in the state.

“Edo state government has taken over from where SEEFOR has stopped to close the gap. In October last year, the state executive council approved the sum of N6b to support SEEFOR and that accounts for why SEEFOR in all parts of the state because World Bank funding is drying out and we are not going to say because World Bank is no longer giving us money we will not fund SEEFOR.”

In his presentation, Processor Eddy Eragbe, the Dean, Faculty of Arts of the University of Benin said positive change was happening in the state.

He urged citizens to monitor and query whatever projects governments were doing.

In his opening remarks, the Project Coordinator Edo SEEFOR, Tony Onaiwu said the workshop was to further enhance public knowledge and accountability in government.

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