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IFAD Multi-Billion Naira Loan: FG Warns 7 Benefiting States

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BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina

The federal government has cautioned the seven states participating in the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed Climate Change Adaption and Agri-business Support Programme (CASP) to cooperate with all agencies and institutions of the structures available for the $93.55 million programme implementation.

The advice was given by  the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, at the wrap up workshop of the first FG / IFAD Implementation Support Mission in Katsina.

Ogbeh, represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Cyril Bikom, told the participants drawn from Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Borno, Yobe and Zamfara states to ensure that successful implementation of the programme.

He said the importance of the programme designed to reduce rural poverty, accelerate economic growth on a sustainable basis and increase food security in the affected states could not be overemphasised.

Earlier, the Mission Team Leader and IFAD Country Officer for West and Central African region, Mr. Oussama Ameziane Hussain, revealed that the process of signing the agreement and effective financial withdrawal had taken two out the six years for the programme implementation.

Hussain also pointed that a fraction of the loan had been exhausted by operating cost but about 70 million US dollars IFAD financing for the programme would be disbursed within the remaining four years.

The Mission Team Leader urged all stakeholders to be more committed to the tasks they had committed to achieve as one third of the period had elapsed with actual implementation for five months.

In his address, the National Programme Coordinator, IFAD-CASP, Muhammad Lawal Idah, described the workshop as a product of 11 day strenuous work by the mission team comprising IFAD appointed consultants, the joint owners of the programme lead by the implementation agency (Federal Ministry of Agriculture), the borrower of the funds (Federal Ministry of Finance) and the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning.

“As a tradition, supervision missions end up with a very important deliverable emanating from the numbers of days of interaction between all the stakeholders including the beneficiaries of the programme,  that is the Aide Memoire on programme implementation status. The Aide Memoire will come up with clear agreed actions / amendments to be done to better the implementation process,” said Idah.

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