By EZEKIEL DONTINNA
THE Plateau State government, has promised to key into the 2020 World Bank Special Intervention Programme anchored by the Federal Project Support Unit, to further provide direct funding to poor communities in the state to address their immediate needs.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong, through his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, made the pledge last Thursday, while playing host to the National Coordinator, Federal Project Support Unit Abuja, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje, who paid him a visit in his office in Jos, the state capital.
The Governor said, “I hope that the intervention that will come to Plateau State should be higher than other states haven been rated high for being at the fore-front in terms of prudence and quality in carrying out it projects. I believe that the students that did well should be rewarded.
“You have also confirmed that Plateau has done its best to see that projects initiated by various communities are well implemented where approval has been given. I want to say that, the struggle against poverty is something that we need to take it seriously. It will interest you to know that Nigeria is poverty capital of the world.
“And I think that unfortunate label should spur us to do that best we can to see that, we attack and confront poverty wherever it is available. As for the next face of the programme of 2020, I can assure you that, Plateau State would definitely want to key in by doping the necessary formal steps to inform the Federal Ministry of Finance of our intention,” he pledged.
The Governor, congratulated the benefiting communities and urged them to judiciously use the funds made available to them through this special intervention scheme to develop their communities, warning that, the funds were not meant for any traditional ruler or stakeholder, but for the immediate needs of these communities.
Earlier, the National Coordinator, Federal Project Support Unit, Dr. Abdulkarim Obaje, said, “community and social development project is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria with support from the World Bank and it is to bridge the yawning gap of social and in terms natural infrastructural service at the community level.
“So many of our communities lack access to potable drinking water, to healthcare facilities to educational institutions, power, natural resource support. The fund is a grant to communities, but for the states and the Federal government, it is a loan. It is a very high sensational loan that is 0.5% service charged” he disclosed.
Obaje, commended Plateau State for keeping to the rule of the programme, describing the state as the best in the country and appealed for continued support by the state government for the project to help meet the needs of communities in the state as they continue to donate to more communities across Plateau.