World bank has threatened to shut down operations in Ebonyi state following alleged corruption and looting of it funds to that state, Pointblanknews.com authoritatively reports
It was gathered that this move is largely due to a number of alleged violations and poor program management by the Ebonyi State Government.
Ebonyi state officials had allegedly misappropriated monies from different donor organizations and given it to the state administration.
Following the threats, the Federal Government has officially written to Governor David Umahi through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to intervene in the situation.
The letter, exclusively obtained by Pointblanknews.com, dated 31st of August 2022 was received at the Ebonyi State Liaison Office Abuja on September 1, 2022, signed by one David Attah, a Director at the SGF’s office on behalf of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The SGF, in the letter, observed that the alleged embezzlement might damage the nation’s reputation and prevent such bank interventions, not only for the State but for the entire country.
He stated listed the implementation agencies set to be shut down including Ebonyi State Community Based Social Development Agency (EB-CSDA), FADAMA, NCARES, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The SGF therefore urged the Governor to, in view of the dire consequences posed by the development, wade into the highlighted concerns with a view to addressing the matter.
The letter reads: “I am to convey the modest compliments of the Secretary to the Government. of the Federation and have the honor, to draw your Excellency’s attention to a report which revealed plans by the World Bank’s Project Implementation Agencies to shut down their offices in Ebonyi State”
“The decision is a sequel to the alleged non-payment of counterpart funds, as well as misappropriation of funds of donor agencies by officials assigned by, the State Government, amongst other sundry reasons.
The SGF said that “according to the report, the Federal Government’s NG-CARES Program funded by the World Bank to alleviate the Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on citizens is yet to kick-start in the State despite the release of the first tranche of three million Dollars ($3m) In February 2022, by the Bank.
“Additionally, ‘EB-CSDA, FADAMA, and MSMEs beneficiaries are owed over twelve'(12) months arrears of salaries since July 2021”
“Consequently, the World Bank initiative designed to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of residents of the State stands to be scuttled with the non-payment of counterpart funds and other obligations”.
“This is even as the alleged anomalies In funds management could smear the country’s image as well as foreclose future intervention efforts by the bank and other global financial institutions,” Mustapha said.
Pointblanknews.com reports that Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi had on the independence day celebration indicated: “We have flagged off Ebonyi Cares empowerment programme targeting micro, small and medium enterprises, small holder farmers and public and civil servants who may wish to take advantage of the second address policy of our administration to go into farming”.
“Today, we shall use the opportunity of this celebration to flag-off the second phase of the State empowerment programme. We shall empower youths and women drawn from different categories of groups. We promise to continue to put smiles on the faces of our people until we handover on May 29th 2023 when we shall be anchoring gloriously.”