The World Bank and the South West states of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo, have agreed to accelerate the implementation for World Bank assisted projects in the region.

The agreement was at a meeting which had officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance, senior government officials of the region discussed ways to improve portfolio implementation performance and delivery of results to project beneficiaries.

With a focus to impact more lives, representatives of the state governments identified critical cross-cutting challenges affecting project performance and discussed ways to accelerate implementation and the achievement of results.

Deputy Director, Federal Projects Financial Management Department in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr E. Nwaobia said: “The SPPR is an important meeting for Federal and State project authorities for accountability, monitoring, evaluation, and peer learning. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to deliberate on challenges and seek solutions.”

Participants agreed on improving service standards, strengthening of coordination and result-tracking mechanisms, and effective communication of results to key stakeholders.

According to World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud said about the meeting: “The participants in a collective spirit, engaged to find solutions and deliberated on what can be done differently to bring benefits at a faster pace. Through diligence and commitment to address emerging challenges faced, these candid discussions will deliver results.”

Declaring the meeting open, Oyo state Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo, “It is important to note that these interventions perfectly align with the government’s development priorities.”

So far, $571 million has been expanded in projects by the World Bank in the Southwest of the country.

The SPPR was co-chaired by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Honorable Commissioners of the Southwestern states, and Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director, Nigeria. Key representatives from the sector ministries, project implementation units’ staff, and members of the World Bank Nigeria Country Team participated in the SPPR.