Governor Kayode Fayemi
By Toba Suleiman
The World Bank has expressed satisfaction on the various projects being carried out in Ekiti State through the eight-point agenda of the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The Country Director of the Bank, Mrs. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, who led her team on a working visit to the state, also promised to partner the Fayemi-led administration to ensure rapid development of the state in the key sectors of the economy.
The World Bank chief noted that the administration was already “walking its talk” through the institutional framework put in place to ensure good governance and implementation of people-based projects across the state.
Marie-Nelly explained that the enactment of Fiscal Responsibility Law, Freedom of Information Law, Public Private Partnership Law and other laws that enhance accountability in Ekiti State has attracted the attention of the World Bank.
Governor Fayemi later led the World Bank team on tour of some projects which include Itapaji Dam Irrigation site, Maternity and Emergency Wards of the State University Teaching Hospital, School of Nursing Auditorium, Ado-Ijan Road, St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ikole and Ekiti State Community Development Agency (EKSCIDA) projects.
The World Bank official commended the Ekiti government for implementing a budget that had inputs of the people at the grassroots.
She also expressed satisfaction that Ekiti was leading in State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM) and also attracting the Bank’s attention in human capital development, urging the state government to consolidate on agriculture, tourism, and Information Communications Technology (ICT).
Marie-Nelly disclosed that the World Bank is supporting the reconstruction of Ado-Ijan-Iluomoba Road while the Bank’s agriculture experts are due in the state soon to support the government’s bid to boost agriculture.
Speaking earlier, Governor Fayemi expatiated on what his administration has done in the key sectors; describing Ekiti as a tourists and investors’ destination if well marketed.
The governor disclosed that much work is going on at Ikogosi Warm Spring in an effort to attract tourists to the state which, according to him, is well, located and situated between Lagos and Abuja and closer than Obudu in Cross River State.
He also revealed that his administration would launch Youths in Commercial Agriculture Initiative soon to positively engage the youths of the state, while his administration was also collaborating with the private sector to develop Ayede-Gede and Orin Farm settlements.
Governor Fayemi further pointed out that the distribution of laptops to teachers and students of public secondary schools in the state was a step in turning Ekiti into the ICT capital of Nigeria.
Describing Ekiti as a land of opportunities for investment, the governor told the World Bank team that arrangements have been concluded with an investor in hospitality industry to turn the Governor’s office into a three-star hotel to generate more revenue into the coffers of the state.
He equally reiterated his administration’s readiness to focus on agro-allied industry, and maintained that Ekiti has advantage, calling on the bank to assist his administration’s investment drive.
The governor opined that Ekiti was the first state in Nigeria to domesticate the Freedom of Information Law and institute a Social Security Scheme for the aged despite its position as Number 35 on the nation’s revenue ladder.