“There was never a time $56 million was earmarked for project in Obinna Ichita’s Constituency, it is a lie. There was never a time a certain $56 million was taken as a loan by the present administration and earmarked for projects to be executed in Obinna Ichita’s Constituency, it is not true. The truth is this, having started benefiting from NEWMAP, Abia State NEWMAP & Abia State Government started prioritizing projects and getting them designed and keying in and drawing money from the envelope of NEWMAP nationally, and our method of operation all along had been, when the project took off, the World Bank left an amount, $2 million in our special IDA account, and as we spend for project activities, we submit a statement of Expenditure to show and to retire for what we have spent, and thereafter, the World Bank will replenish that amount such that at anytime, there will be a balance of $2 million so that project implementation will not be hampered.
“At some point in late 2016 into early 2017, the World Bank changed to a new method of financial disbursement called ”Result Based Disbursement”, and they asked every NEWMAP state participating to do a projection of what they think they will need to carry out activities in the year 2017 & 2018 and to say how much they think they will need for such activities. ABIA NEWMAP like all the 11 or 17 states that were participating then did our projections and our forecast, and at the end of that exercise, the federal ministery of finance and the Nigerian country office of the World Bank did an assessment and did an allotment and allocation of funds to states according to the projects that they had lined up that they will do. By 2017, I had a project I wanted to start at Umuagu Ibeku and Umuda Isingwu, I had Amuzukwu Ibeku, Umuezeukwu,and Amuda Achara ongoing; I was expecting to advertise for Aba. So we checked how much we will be needing to pay as milestone per time for all of this our intervention, we had the livelihood enhancement activities that we were doing in several communities, all of them plus our project management bill, etc…, when we submitted to the World Bank and in their wisdom, the World Bank cleared whatever several states applied for according to their need, and Abia State was given $54.4 million on top of the assumed $2 million that goes into our account as replenishment. When you add that $54.4 to the $2 million in our account that is how the Grammer of $56 million came about, AND IT IS FOR OUR ENTIRE OPERATION IN ABIA STATE, essentially gully erosion control and then subsidiary flood control. IT WAS NOT EARMARKED FOR PROJECTS IN ABA SOUTH LGA, that’s not true…”
Engr. Izuchukwu Onwughara