The Edo State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has emerged as the World Bank’s overall best-performing state since the inception of the project in 2012, defeating 22 other beneficiary states to clinch the award.
According to a statement, at the closing/valedictory session for the NEWMAP project, the state also came out tops in two other categories, including Best in Disbursement/Engineering/Civil Works/Bio-Engineering and Best in Counterpart Funding.
These it stated were in addition to coming as runner-up in several other categories.
The honour was the highest winning by any state out of the 23 NEWMAP participating states, the statement noted.
The Project Coordinator of Edo NEWMAP, Dr. Tom Obaseki led the project’s monitoring unit and other members of the management team to receive the awards at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The award ceremony, put together by the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Environment, is aimed at recognising outstanding states who through the project have positively transformed the lives of residents of benefiting communities, ensuring environmental sustainability through erosion and watershed management infrastructure investments, climate change response and project management, among others,” the statement added.
Presenting the award, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who commended Edo State for the exceptional performance, hailed Tom Obaseki for expertly steering the affairs of the project since its inception in 2012.
The Minister who was represented by his Special Assistant, Abdulhadi Abdullahi noted that NEWMAP was conceived in 2012 to deal with the ravaging effect of gully erosion and other forms of land degradation in targeted watersheds as well as enhance the livelihood of beneficiary communities.
Receiving the awards, Obaseki expressed gratitude to the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Environment for providing the opportunity for the Edo State Government to enhance the well-being of the people.
He commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his relentless support for the project which has served as a major backbone for the successful interventions across the state.
On their part, the World Bank NEWMAP task team leader, Dr. Joy Agene, and the National Project Coordinator, Dr. Salisu Dahiru enjoined the governments of beneficiary states to ensure the sustainability of the various projects in their states as the NEWMAP project winds down.
Culled from THISDAY