The Cross River State Government has commenced the disbursement of N79 million to activate the implementation of 21 micro-projects across some communities in the state as part of a multi-sectoral intervention to COVID-19.
The communities are Atakpa, Calabar South; Ebuafen and Ayikang Iye in Bekwarra; Abijang and Agbokim Mgbabor in Etung and Okweriseng, Ashikpe, Betukwel and Bebuawhan in Obudu local government area among others.
The State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr Inyang Asibong, while presenting cheques to the benefiting communities in Calabar, urged them to hasten the implementation of the projects.
Asibong advised them to lay emphasis on standards and specifications with a view to meet global best practices and to further reduce poverty and unemployment in their domain.
The projects are a counterpart based fund project between the World Bank and the Cross River Government.
The World Bank assisted Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) is under the state Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), which the Ministry of International Development Cooperation (MIDC) Coordinates.
The micro-projects include the renovation of classroom blocks with motorized borehole and improved toilets, equipped with ventilations within the communities.
Also, the provision of 1.5KVA hybrid solar electricity and panoramic solar street lights, the construction and equipping of the health post, and the construction of solar-powered borehole as well as culverts across the nine communities.
Asibong told the beneficiaries the efforts of the state government, for paying the required counterpart funds as a requisite to earn the World Bank’s support at the critical time of need for lockdown in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the Acting Manager of CSDA, Mr Fidel Udie, explained that the micro-projects were identified by the communities as necessary interventions to alleviate poverty in the areas.
He said the project would directly pull the State and Federal Government closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and called for the judicious use of the funds to meet the set objectives.
Some of the community leaders expressed their gratitude to Gov. Ben Ayade for the quick interventions during the lockdown and promised to take full ownership of the projects for overall sustainable development.
They also said that the projects would reduce poverty and create employment for the people of the state.