The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday, appealed to the World Bank for its cooperation and assistance.

Akeredolu made the appeal during a courtesy visit by Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) comprised of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and World Bank among others, which took place at the Governor’s office in Akure.

He expressed interest to work with the bank while appreciating their efforts in healthcare so far, and said the state would continue to encourage them.

“We are particularly appreciative of your efforts so far and we look forward to working with you to bring health to the doorstep of our people who bear witness to the benefits of your service.

“You have made very serious impact on our health growth in this state and you deserve to be praised.

“We are also impressed with your tactics of bonuses based on output which has worked, and can also work if we adopt in a few other areas,” he said.

Akeredolu said since inception, his administration had been trying for funds to pay salaries and prayed that the health sector would not suffer as only salaries were paid.

“Health to me, not only because we say it’s wealth, is very important and we will put it in the front burner because this maternal and child health is everything,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Olalekan Olubajo, team leader and National Project Coordinator, NSHIP, said they had covered the 18 local governments.

He explained that the project, which started in 2011 in three states, Nassarawa, Adamawa and Ondo, strengthened primary healthcare delivery using innovative approaches that rewards results.

“The essence is focusing on improving maternal and child health indices and also strengthen institutions essentially the states and local governments.

“What this project has achieved is to boost delivery of primary healthcare services in states which stand to gain about $500,000 while each local government stands to gain about $50,000,” he said.

Also, Dr Oluwole Odutolu, World Bank team leader, and Senior Health Specialist, said the goal of the world bank was to eradicate extreme poverty achievable by 2030.

He said the bank had different instruments including international development association which gives credit to developing countries.

“The world bank portfolio in Nigeria is about $8 billion and we come on an annual basis to look at what states are able to achieve.

“As team leader, this project has moved in the right direction and has achieved the goals for which it was set up,” he said.