The Ogun State government and the World Bank have concluded the design and plans for the Ogun State Economic Transformation Programme (OGSTEP), which will grant up to $350 million long term concessionary loan to the state.
The Bank’s final mission to the State on 29th & 30th April was to dot the Is and cross the Ts. The Task Team Leader for the bank, Mr. Kofi Nouve, while presenting the progress report to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, at his Oke Mosan, Abeokuta office, reiterated that the major aim of the programme is to help Ogun State put in place necessary reforms to accelerate private sector participation to inclusively grow its economy and thus enable critical social investments that will help uplift the welfare of the populace.
“At our internal decision meeting in early April, the team received final approval to proceed with this final design mission”, he said, adding that all the core areas for the programme have been confirmed during their visit.
In support of Ogun State’s development objectives, the project has three core areas of implementation, which are, creation of enabling business environment, strategic technical and vocational skills and development as well as agricultural value chain development. These will all rest on a pillar of strengthened governance capabilities as areas such as statistics, procurement, monitoring & evaluation and planning are bolstered through the program.
Nouve, who disclosed that the project has design process has been on for about two years, assured that in the next one month, the project would be submitted to the World Bank’s Board in Washington for final approval. Once obtained, this would enable the release of the funds and the commencement of implementation of this landmark program.
Amosun, in his reaction, said his administration would do all that was possible to ensure that the state gets this much needed support from the Bank, noting that the incoming administration already has a ready made support to enhance delivery and good governance.
He also emphasised that the lengthy and painstaking process that the State had been through in designing and developing this landmark program, likely to be the first of its kind in Nigeria, has already significantly improved the workings of Government, positioning the state to realise its vast potential.
Mr. Abbas, representing the Federal Ministry of Finance on the Mission also gave assurances to Governor Amosun that it was on hand play its part and do all that was necessary to prepare and conduct negotiations with the World Bank as the final step before the project documents are submitted to the World Bank Board.
Amosun observed that the bank’s support will also help to create a system-driven environment that is critical for its progress, urging the team to fast track the process for final approval.