The World Bank under the auspices of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, has commended Edo State for maintaining international standards in gully erosion reclamation.
World Bank Task Team Leader for NEWMAP, Dr. Amos Abu gave the commendation when he led a delegation of the Bank, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, and relevant agencies of the Nigerian Government on a Technical Implementation Support Mission to the State.
“We are on a due diligence mission to inspect ongoing civil works at three gully sites and to ascertain the level of compliance with the approved designs as well as review the designs of the New Sites prepared by the State Government,” Dr. Abu explained.
The team leader expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done indicating the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability, saying that “the World Bank was pleased to partner with Edo.’’
According to Abu, the ongoing gully erosion reclamation works at Queen Ede, Auchi and Ekenhuan were in tandem with international best practices and had been tested and successfully used in China, Brazil and other countries.
He asserted that the projects belonged to Edo State Government while the World Bank and other agencies were only providing technical and financial support.
“No single complaint of Government interference was received during the process of tendering,” he added.
The Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities, Prince Clem Agba said that the NEWMAP intervention clearly showed that the gully erosion reclamation could be achieved.
Prince Agba commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his commitment to pay counterpart fund.
“The state had since begun intervention at ten new sites such as Gapiona Catchment Area covering Upper Adesuwa; Rueben Agho, 1st and 2nd Ugbor in GRA; Ogiso/Osunde, Edo College, all in Benin City; and Urora, Uhunmwode Local Government Area in Edo South; Ewu, Ibore, Emu and AAU, Ekpoma in Edo Central as well as Igbe Quarters, Auchi, and Fugar/Agenebode Road in Edo North,” Dr. Abu explained.
Agba stated that the designs, drawn by an international engineering firm, had been sent to the World Bank for approval.
He is also the Chairman of Edo State NEWMAP Steering Committee.
The team visited the on-going reclamation works at Ekenhuan, Queen Ede and Auchi gully erosion sites as well as some other sites being considered for the second phase of the project.