Minna, Jan – The World Bank assisted Fadama III Additional Finance (AF) project on Monday said that it would spend 20 million dollars to implement some projects in Niger.
Dr Adetunji Oredipe, Task Team Leader for the implementation of the project in the country, made this known when he visited Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger in Minna.
“The FADAMA III AF project, a collaboration of the Bank and the Federal Government, is two years old in Nigeria and we are committed to investing 20 million dollars in Niger state.
“As of today, we have not expended up to 2 million dollars in the state,” he said.
Oredipe appealed to the state government to pay its counterpart funds to enable it access the fund.
According to him, if we are not able to raise our counterpart fund when required, it will affect our budget implementation.
“Niger state is owing counterpart funds to the tune of N56 million for 2015 because there was no contribution for the year; it also owes a balance of N40 million for 2014,’’ he said.
Oredipe noted that prompt payment of the counterpart funds would ensure the success of the project.
“Your Excellency, even if it is going to be payment on instalment basis help us to pay the counter fund for the project,’’ he said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
The World Bank official said that the four-year project, which commenced in 2014, would wind up in 2017.
Oredipe added that it was being implemented in six states of Niger, Kogi, Kano, Anambra, Enugu and Lagos.
He said that the project was being financed from the 200 million dollars provided by the World Bank, to support the development of core value chain of cassava, rice, sorghum, tomato and horticulture in the country.
Oredipe commended the state Fadama III AF project for its transparency and accountability in implementing the project in the state.
Responding, Bello directed the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Abdulahi Aliyu, to ensure that the counterpart funds were paid instalmentally toward accessing the projects.
According to the governor, counterpart funding has been a challenge not only for World Bank Fadama projects, but for other international institutions support programmes.
“We are lagging behind in terms of counterpart funding; I have noted your request for N40 million balance in 2014 and N56 million as counterpart fund for 2015.
“Once my team is able to come up with a clear plan on what the money will be utilised for, and once it meets my requirement, we shall do whatever is necessary to access the funds for the benefit of our people,” he said. (NAN)