Governor Theodore Orji of Abia state says the $200 million (About N30 Billion) loan the state was seeking from the World Bank would be expended on sustainable and concrete projects that would have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The governor stated this recently at Government House, Umuahia when he received the country Director of World Bank in Nigeria, Onno Rhul, and his delegation.
Orji assured that the state government has done its homework and determined specific areas that the funds would be channelled into if granted, adding that the funds would not be spent on transient and irrelevant things.
The governor said the visit of the world bank officials would afford them the opportunity to see things for themselves, saying that after the visit, the bank could then decide whether they are in a position to grant the state the loan or not.
While noting that the state is qualified for the loan, the Governor explained that the government feels safer to partner with the World Bank than the local banks, stressing that his administration is determined to leave legacies for generations unborn.
The Governor recalled that the state government had partnered well with the World Bank in the past in areas such as the Abia State Community and Social Development Project, a World Bank funded project. He also recalled sending a draft fiscal responsibility bill to the house of Assembly and setting up the debt management office to serve as a check on the state government.
Earlier, the World bank chief, Rhul, had listed the pre-conditions for getting the loan to include the ability of the government to have a vision with clear goals. He pointed out that a key objective of the visit was to find ways to accelerate the partnership between the state government and world bank to ensure that results were achieved.
The world bank country director also said that the team has noted some progress in the state in some the key areas, adding that what the state government has been able to achieve in the past was a factor in determining whether the loan would be granted or not.
The World Bank loan has a repayment period of about 40 years.