SIX communities and groups in Benue have received N26.5 million for the implementation of projects via the intervention of the Community and Social Development Project, Additional Financing (CSDP-AF).
The intervention and disbursement were carried out to enable six “poorest of the poor” communities, which were identified by the World Bank, to execute choice projects in their various communities.
Mr James Aboho, the General Manager, Benue State Community and Social Development Agency (BCSDA), made this known on Friday in Makurdi at a news conference on the feats of the agency as to the CSDP-AF programme.
He said that CSDP was 90-per-cent funded by International Development Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank Group, while the money had a 40-year repayment period with 0.05 per cent operational charge only.
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He said that 116 communities in the 23 local government areas of the state had benefited from the first phase of the CSDP intervention, which terminated in December 2013.
“It was after the termination that the Federal Ministry of Finance approached the World Bank for an Additional Financing (AF) programme, which the bank approved in 2015 and earmarked 140 million U.S. dollars for the 27 participating states and the FCT, Benue inclusive, ’’ he said.
Aboho said that the state government signed a subsidiary loan agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the World Bank, which amounted to four million U.S. Dollars (about N1.4 Billion) under the CSDP-AF.
He added that Benue had so far drawn down N242 million from the fund.
He said that the funds were strictly used for the implementation of projects in Apa, Ohimini, Guma Gwer West, Ushongo and Vandeikya, the pilot communities.
Aboho thanked Gov Samuel Ortom for paying the initial counterpart contribution of N97 million to qualify the state for the programme.
He pledged that his agency would ensure that all the projects were properly implemented before the expiration of the CSDP-AF programme.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr David Olofu, said that Gov Ortom was passionate about improving the living standards of the poor people in Benue and the North Central geopolitical zone at large.
Olofu, who was represented by Mr Mathew Uyina, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, pledged the commitment of state government to supporting BCSDA in executing its community and social development projects
Mr Peter Ochijele, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of BCSDA, and Mr Cletus Abugh, a member of the board, thanked the state government for its commitment in ensuring that the agency accessed the funds.
They pledged their commitment of the board to ensure the proper and timely implementation of all the projects by the agency.
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