Masari appeals to World Bank, Egypt for dev’t assistance
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has appealed to both the World Bank and the Egyptian government to assist him solve what he described as his “cupful of problems.”
In two separate development engagements in Abuja, Masari told officials of both bodies that in his commitment to address Katsina State’s challenges in the areas of water supply, education and agriculture, he desired the interventions of the World Bank and other development agencies.
At the World Bank office in Abuja, the governor said that his state would require nothing less than N115 billion to address the challenges in the health and education sectors of the economy alone.
“In the area of foundation education, that is, primary and secondary education, we need, by our estimate today, a minimum of N45bn for infrastructures, including laboratory and all other equipment.
“Then, in the health sector with 22 hospitals and over 30 healthcare centres, without even talking about clinics, by our estimate, we need nothing less than N70bn,” he said.
While addressing the World Bank chiefs, the governor attributed the inability of the state government to handle its challenges alone to the drop in the revenue allocation occasioned by the fall in the international price of crude.
“I’m here to solicit further support of the World Bank and other development agencies,” he pleaded, saying he was committed to developing Katsina state, which he admitted is backward in many areas, including maternal mortality, based on the statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The governor voiced his administration’s commitment to the financial obligations of all assisted projects and promised to exhibit honesty and transparency.
“We will know how much the state is getting from the federation account and they will know how much we are spending in terms of salaries, overheads and consumables,” Masari promised.
The new World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, responded that the Bank was willing to assist Katsina State. Benmessaoud, who noted the governor’s passion for the state, said the key areas he would want the global financial institution to be involved in were areas critical to reducing poverty and leading to an improvement in human development indicators.
He promised that Katsina State, which currently has four World Bank-Assisted projects, would continue to benefit from the 3rd Urban Project, which has commenced.