The World Bank Group has awarded Kogi State in North Central Nigeria, as the top performer in World Bank projects portfolio in the country.
The Governor of the State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello made this known in his address to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary, in Lokoja, the State capital.
According to him the State had repeatedly met its counterpart funding obligations to the World Bank Group and other development partners.
“In 2019, we were ranked the 7th top performer among all the states and FCT in basic education according to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). We have renovated, or constructed from scratch, over 375 basic education schools across the State.
“Our secondary schools and Tertiary institutions have enjoyed serious attention from the administration, both in the provision of enhanced learning materials and physical infrastructure. As a result, several Tertiary institutions were able to receive accreditation for critical courses which have been outstanding for years,” the Governor explained.
Reduction of Unemployment
According to him, in 2019, the NBS rated us one of the only 9 states which reduced unemployment at a time the rest of the country slid further into it.
Governor Bello said that arrangements have been made with financial institutions, that salaries and pensions be paid from the 25th of every month.
He stated that his government has taken tremendous strides in the provision of physical and engineering infrastructure and utilities of all types as well as created an enabling environment needed for economic activities to flourish.
He said: “identifiable hallmarks of my administration include major link and township road networks, electricity projects, rural water schemes, primary and secondary healthcare centres, specialist health programmes and empowerment initiatives for youths, women and other sections of our populace.”
Pardon of Convicts
In commemoration of independence day, Governor Yahaya Bello exercised his prerogative of mercy and granted pardon to some convicts with less than one year to be discharged.
One citizen on death row had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, while another serving a 15-year jail term in Idah Custodial Centre got his term reduced to 10 years.
The Governor urged individual communities of the beneficiaries of this amnesty to tolerate them, absolve them and to also give them another chance in life.
He also advised the beneficiaries to eschew evil and live at peace in their respective communities.