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The Delta State Government has charged members of the newly inaugurated State Steering Committee on World Bank Assisted Immunization Plus and Malaria Progress for Accelerating Coverage and Transformation Service (IMPACT) project to continue to interface with the World Bank and Federal counterparts for further guidance on the processes and procedures towards meeting other stipulated disbursement conditions.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, gave the charge in his office when he inaugurated a 12-member committee on behalf of the state government.
Chief Ukah stated that the inauguration of the committee members was in pursuant to meeting the stipulated condition for the state to be eligible for disbursement under the project.
He noted that following the endorsement of a letter of Expression of Interest (EoI) by the state Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning for the state to participate in the implementation of immunization plus of the IMPACT budgets, the Minister issued a letter of “No Objection” to the World Bank for the state to participate in the project”.
The SSG equally stated that the World Bank on the basis of issuance of “No Objection” by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning forwarded a list of conditions to be fulfilled by the state prior to funds disbursement .
Chief Ukah said it was on this note that Senator Okowa granted approval for the opening of an IMPACT project account with the sum of (N41,700.000,00), Forty one Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only, which is the equivalent of one hundred thousand dollars.
The Chairman of the Committee and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, who spoke on behalf of other members, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for finding them worthy to serve.
Dr. Ononye promised that members of the committee would discharge their duties to the best of their abilities in order to achieve desired results.
He said the committee would scale up and bring on board impactful services in the area of immunization and malaria interventions.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Gbe, who in an interview, noted that the project comprised malaria control and immunization plus components, said that the government would key into it to reduce under time mortality rate in the 25 local government areas of the state.
He said the World Bank would be informed of the fulfilment of the pre- conditions given to the state to enable it bring their technical expertise to fund the immunization programme in the state.
The Commissioner stated that Delta State was among the ten states approved for the project adding that the project would run for the period of the 4 years .
Those inaugurated are the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, as Chairman, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Barry Gbe, as Co- Chairman, the Commissioner for Finance, Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Health, Economic Planning, Finance, State Health Primary Care Development Agency and office of the Accountant General are members.
Other members also include Director, Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), representative of CSOs, while Dr. Ngozi Orufuke would serve as project manager and Secretary of the committee.