Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- Project Teams of the World Bank projects in Nigeria on Wednesday rose from a two-day Country Program Performance Portfolio Review meeting in Abuja with resolve to achieve faster results for Nigeria through improved project management and accelerated implementation.
Project coordinators along with their procurement, financial, and Monitoring and Evaluation staff from federal and state level implementation units engaged in a review of their action plans to improve overall project performance and impact on the ground.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly told project staff all over the country to work as a strong team to deliver results on ground, adding that to achieve greater results, there was a need for coordinated action and involvement of all stakeholders to enhance project quality and disbursement.
Marie-Nelly stressed the need to be clear on our common purpose, namely, to make a difference for the people of Nigeria through our programs. To this end, faster and more efficient project implementation is a step in the right direction and accelerating disbursement is an indication of progress in that direction.
The Country Director, who observed that the current disbursement ratio was low for some projects, noted that 5 projects had not disbursed at all in the past three months. She stressed that “only a coordinated action and collective efforts can strengthen project quality and disbursement and ultimately deliver results.”
In his remarks, Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, who attended the first session on Institutional Aspects of Project Management said, “there is nothing such as a World Bank Project independent of Government Project.” The Governor urged the need for better communication and consultation with Chief Executives on Bank funded projects.
The Mini Country Program Portfolio Review was aimed at reviewing progress in implementation, discussing key implementation issues, and agreeing on specific actions to improve portfolio performance. The meeting came up with specific recommendations on both cross-cutting themes such as institutional arrangements, fiduciary aspects, monitoring and evaluation, social and accountability; and project-related issues. Participants agreed that to enhance implementation there was need for better communication and consultation, constant briefing and involvement of key relevant Government officials and Chief Executives both at federal and state levels. It was agreed that the Governors Forum would henceforth be used to introduce the work of the World Bank assisted projects to state authorities.
A participant at the forum and Project Coordinator, Public Private Partnership Project, and ICRC, Sutura Aisha Bello, said that “the most important lesson from this workshop was that as PIU’s we should collaborate more closely with the bank’s team and our TTLs to solve problems with respect to project implementation,”
The Commissioner of Water Resources and Project Coordinator, Cross River State, Elemi Etowa explained that “the meeting buttressed “the need for active involvement of beneficiaries from project identification stage through implementation to completion. The promotion of team work is also key to achieving great results.”
On his part, Dayo Mobereola, Coordinator, Lagos Urban Transport Project-2 said, “I have learnt the need to enhance leadership and increase internal stakeholder awareness, participation and buy-in to broaden ownership of the project for multi-dimensional solutions to problems to ensure success of the project.”
The Nigerian portfolio is made up of 27 projects worth US$ 4.84 billion sectorally distributed into Human Development - US$ 1.130 billion (25 per cent); Sustainable Development -US$2.452 billion (53 per cent) Financial and Private Sector- US$275million; (6 per cent); and Governance and Economic Reforms- US$735 million (16%)
The Nigerian portfolio has an average project age of 3.7 years. Only 34% of the committed amount has been disbursed. Total value of World Bank assisted projects make up 5 % of Nigeria’s budget. The next review which will cover the overall portfolio will take place in about six months.