The World Bank says it is ready to partner with the Cross River Government to tackle youth unemployment.
Prof. Foluso Okumadewa, the bank's task team leader of the in charge of Community Social Development Projects (CSDP), gave the assurance at the presentation of cheques and awards to beneficiary communities in Calabar.
He said that the bank had resolved to intensify support to serve the communities and social development agencies in the state to enhance rural development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 29 communities received N37.5 million cheques at the ceremony, while individuals were recognised for their support and commitment to the project.
Okunmadewa expressed satisfaction with the rate of development in the rural areas in the state.
He said that the decision to introduce additional programmes was sequel to the outstanding record of the state agency in charge of rural development
In his remark, Gov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River, said that the administration was committed to transforming rural communities. noting that they constituted more than 70 per cent of the population.
Imoke said that his administration would continue to strengthen the agency to deliver on its mandate.
He also pledged government's commitment to prompt payment of its counterpart fund to donor-assisted programmes.
He urged benefitting communities that received cheques to use such funds judiciously, and warned that government would blacklist any community that failed to be prudent in the disbursement of funds.
In their remarks, the Board Chairman of the agency, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong and the General Manager, Pastor Victor Ovat, attributed the successes recorded to the commitment of the stakeholders and the government.
They commended the government for its support to the agency through enhanced budgetary provision, which enabled it to increase the number of projects and participating communities.