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DR. AGBU KEFAS ENGAGES BANKS ON DEVELOPMENT

The Executive Governor of Taraba State, Dr Agbu Kefas has continued to engage with bilateral, multilateral, and development partners in the quest to secure finance for the numerous programs and policies of the government.

The Governor on the 9th of August 2023 had an interactive session with the Country Director of the World Bank for Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri at the office located in the Asokoro district of Abuja.

While exchanging ideas with Mr Chaudhuri which involved video conferencing with other officials of the Bank, Governor Kefas described the World Bank as a critical partner and acknowledged its presence in the financing of some key projects in the state.

Dr Agbu Kefas solicited the bank’s assistance especially in the priority areas of education, at basic and secondary levels, increased agricultural production, women and youth empowerment, renewable energy, mining, and environmental protection.

He assured the Country Director of the World Bank of the transparency and due process of the new administration and why it should be supported to make a meaningful impact at the grassroots.

The Governor said that his administration has just rolled out a comprehensive palliative for the people of Taraba state to cushion the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Tinubu administration.

He appealed to Mr. Chaudhari to help expedite the process of securing a loan from the Bank to avert a looming crisis and used the occasion to invite the Country Director to Taraba State.

Responding, the World Bank Country Director appreciated the vision and foresight of Dr Agbu Kefas particularly in seeking the assistance and expertise of the institution which he said is not a donor agency but a development bank whose loans are paid back at very concessional terms with a grace period of 8 to 10 years.

He said the bank has over the years been a source of funds for state governments in the implementation of their programs and policies, emphasizing that its loans come with strings attached because shareholders want the funds to be utilized transparently and judiciously.

Mr Chaudhuri said Nigeria is the largest beneficiary of its funding in Africa with 70 percent of the money going to state governments because they play a greater role in job creation and poverty reduction and funds are disbursed based on the priority of each state.

The meeting had in attendance the commissioners of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning, Dr. Sarah Enoch Adi, Environment and climate change, Hajiya Aisha Barde, Information and Reorientation, Barrister Zainab Usman Jalingo, Agriculture and food security, Prof Nicholas Namessan, and that of Energy and Economic Development; Engineer Naomi Tanko Agbu as well as the chief of Staff, Dr. Jeji Williams Mni who is now the focal person for World Bank projects, Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Godfrey Wesley Tafida, and the permanent secretary, liaison office Abuja, Dauda Moses. 

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