OWERRI – The Imo State government has said that it will strengthen its partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to widen its reach in community based natural resources management.
Addressing a delegation of the donor agency in Owerri on Saturday, the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Eze Madumere, said the IFAD programme was in line with the state government’s Community Government Council whose main goal was to bring development to the rural areas.
Madumere said the government stood to promote and encourage programmes geared to empower the people and eradicate poverty in the society.
He said the state government had laid more emphasis on even development in its 27 local government areas, adding that the IFAD project would help to strengthen the effort to eradicate poverty.
“This government has set up a community government council aimed at bringing its presence close to the communities.
“We are happy that IFAD is here to augment what the government is already doing.
“We will do everything possible to sustain this project in Imo State,” he said.
Earlier, the Country Programme Manager of IFAD, Ms Atsuko Toda, told the deputy governor that the agency’s mission was to seek partnership with the state government.
She said IFAD would play a major role in empowering the people, especially vulnerable youths.
“The Imo government stands to benefit a lot from this programme because it is community-based.
“Since the government has started a community government programme, we will help to attract more projects to the state,” he said.
She commended Gov. Rochas Okorocha for embarking on infrastructural development in Imo which had gone a long way to alleviate the sufferings of the people.
The National Programme Coordinator, Mrs Irene Ibeabazie, said the only way the programme would yield fruits in Imo was for the government to pay its counterpart fund.
Ibeabazie urged the government to fulfill its part of the partnership, saying the IFAD will always work to alleviate poverty in Imo. (NAN)