The Cross River State Government has disbursed over N1.7 billion directly to 247 communities across the state for the execution of various community projects, thereby emerging tops in the World Bank project review implementation progress report on overall performance index in Nigeria.
A document obtained from the World Bank aide memoire and released after an implementation support commission for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP- Nigeria), revealed that the state is leading 25 other participating states on the project in terms of disbursements to grants.
The World Bank explained that the funds released through the State Community and Development Agency was germane for the project to actualise its planned development objective.
It pointed out that such exemplary gesture of the state government had sustainably improved access of poor people to basic necessities of life with majority of them being women and children.
According to the World Bank, the provision of grants to communities is a project requirement and key item in the community development project cycle, which enables communities access needed funds for effective implementation of their projects to improve access to basic services.
The apex bank maintained that Cross River State is among a few states in the country that met its strenuous effectiveness conditions, enabling it to start drawing down from the $200 million International Development Association (IDA) credit.
It added that through the state Community and Social Development Agency, the state had provided funding for 247 approved community development plans comprising; 673 micro-projects distributed across eight sectors of education, environment, gender and vulnerable, health, rural, electrification, social, economic as well as transport and water supply.
The World Bank further lauded the efforts of the Governor Liyel Imoke-led administration for effectively mainstreaming rural development; stating that by any standard, the state Community and Social Development Project was the flagship in Nigeria, whose implementation performance is unprecedented.
Consequently, the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance announced Governor Imoke as the Community and Social Development Project Ambassador in Nigeria.