In upholding his pledge to continue to serve the interests of the people of Oyo State, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde has expressed his avowed commitment to the timely completion of the World Bank-backed Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP).
The governor has also appealed to the World Bank not to withdraw its conditional no objection for the Second Pool of Long Term Investments (PLTI2) BERs, and make available funding for the contracts.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the state also rejected insinuations that the World Bank had withdrawn its commitment to IUFMP due to display of undue interests by the governor.
The commitment of the governor and Oyo State Government “is coming at a time when the World Bank, in its correspondence of July 30, 2021, to Governor Makinde, pointed out administrative issues and strengthening of the safeguard team.
“The Bank, nonetheless, expressed a recognition of Governor Makinde’s unwavering support to the important project.”
The World Bank said it recognised “…Your Excellency’s unwavering support to this important project for the safety and well-being of Ibadan’s citizens.”
The statement noted that while a correspondence from the World Bank, signed by Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director, Nigeria, Western and Central Africa Region, had conveyed the determination of the status of its support for the project, the said decision was not as a result of undue interference by Governor Makinde.
“The government of Oyo State remained committed to its letter of undertaking submitted to the Bank in May 2021,” the statement said.
The statement continued: “Already, Governor Makinde’s appeal has been forwarded to the World Bank with six strategic and critical progress milestones comprising Activities, Proactive Steps and Status.”
The statement further quoted the governor as drawing the attention of the World Bank to the “proactive steps already taken and the commitment of the Project (IUFMP) in the last two months,” while the governor also outlined areas of alignment with the observations made by the financial institution.
Indeed, the statement noted that of strategic importance is Governor Makinde’s revalidation of an earlier written undertaking that “the state will continue to fund and complete works post-June 2022 project completion date, should project works at all Lots extend beyond the end date.”
The statement further read: “Contrary to insinuations in some partisan quarters about interests and lack of continuity, only last week, IUFMP awarded dredging of forty-five (45) streams within and around Ibadan metropolis, as part of its palliative measures.
“The dredging exercise is ongoing, helping to provide instant relief to residents of flood-prone areas where structural interventions are yet to take place. Work on the long-term investments is on-going on the channels of Agodi, Kudeti, Ogbere, Orogun, etc. as earlier launched, barring the occasional drawbacks by the inclement weather.
“No where in the letter from the World Bank were issues of personal interest or insistence on some contractors mentioned.”