By Lucy Nwachukwu
Abuja – Mr Ebrima Faal Senior Director, Nigeria Country Deparment, African Development Bank (AfDB), said the bank’s 256 million dollar initiative would support government’s effort to rehabilitate homes in the North-East.
Faal spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme (IBSIP) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said: “This programme is a very important one, it is responding to the call by the President during the height of tensions in the North-East.
“Recall that the government created an initiative to see how both the Federal and State governments and also development partners can assist in rehabilitating homes in the North-East.
“Our response was to develop this programme. It is a 256 million dollar multifaceted project that includes water, sanitation, agriculture, human capital and creating small businesses for both women and young people.”
According to Faal, the bank is working in collaboration with other partners including the World Bank but that the inauguration is AfDB’s component of the initiative.
He said the Bank was working very closely with its partners and the government to ensure the efforts targeted towards the rehabilitation of the North-East were not duplicated.
“So the areas that we are covering are areas where we are in conversation with both the government and the other development partners.
“They are areas where we comparative advantage in providing the assistance,” he said.
Faal announced that the bank had other complementary projects, which it planed to unveil soon, that were also targeted at rehabilitating the citizenry.
He said: “There is a project called ‘say no to farming project’, about 21 million dollars, which we hope to approve by next week.
“Last week we also approved the National Energy Programme which is an off-grid energy programme nationwide that will provide energy in places like Adamawa for example and several initiatives.
“All these programmes complement the inclusive basic services as well, so there is a lot of the bank’s resources in the region.
“I think overall, we have invested roughly 350 million dollars in the region at the moment.”
Faal said in spite of some difficulties in project implementation, which may still be faced, the bank would incorporate lessons learnt from several projects carried out in the region in the new project.