The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, is turning to the World Bank for a $3.25 billion grant to sail through the current economic crisis in the country.
The governors met with World Bank officials in Abuja on Wednesday and Thursday to understand how the funds could be accessed.
This was after Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, informed them that they had $4.25 billion grant for 2016.
El-Rufai advised that the grant should be accessed at such “challenging times.”
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Abudulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara and chairman of the forum, said the conditions to access the funds were stringent, but the bank promised to look into it.
“We had a presentation from the World Bank officials and we agreed on terms.
“The governors contributed that so many things should be involved, most especially the issue of counterpart funding which the bank accepted they are going to look into,” he said.
He added, “They came to educate the governors so that they will know that these monies are there, especially in the kind difficult situation we are in; so that the states can move forward in terms of infrastructure development.
“They agreed that they will give us the details of state-by-state how much is lying down for each state and how we are going to access it.
“As of now, they are ready to facilitate a kind of workshop to the state governors and the commissioners of finance and other staff, so that we can know how best to move and access these funds for the betterment of our respective states.”
Yari said the World Bank was very much interested in counterpart funding for development of infrastructure, but the states have no funds to meet the request of the bank.
“We discussed sincerely on the issue of counterpart funding. It is more difficult for us to fulfill our own part because we are struggling to see how we can pay salaries.
“That is the most difficult aspect of it and they promised that they will look into it and immediately that is done, the states will move fast to ensure we access it,” he said.