From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
The World Bank has urged Niger government to pay the balance of 80 million naira counterpart fund for the implementation of the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) project in the state.
The World Bank Task Team Leader, Dr Adetunji Oredipe,
made the request at the eight joint World Bank/Federal Government FADAMA III AF implementation supervision mission to the state.
Represented by Dr Ahmed Ibrahim, World Bank Team Leader said that prompt payment of the counterpart fund would ensure successful implementation of the project.
According to him, “prompt payment of the counterpart funds will ensure the successful implementation of the business plans to the later,’’ he said.
He, however, said that the team has observed some challenges in the area of small scale infrastructural development such as roads in the benefiting communities in the state.
The World Bank Task Team Leader urged government to always hold meetings of the Project Implementation Committee with the stakeholders toward the success of the project.
He said that the mission which was on four day supervision to the state would follow up the findings of midterm review in the past six month and make recommendations.
Responding, Alhaji Yusuf Kagara, Permanent Secretary at the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development assured that government would pay the counterpart funds before the end of the week.
Kagara said that government would do everything possible to pay the counterpart fund because the project has impacted positively on farmers in the state.
He said that government has put measures in place to ensure sustainability of the project objectives in the state.
“Niger state government is sensitising the benefiting communities to own and maintain the facilities,’’ he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Aliyu Kutigi, the State Programme Coordinator, said that government has paid N160 million out of the targeted N240 million since the project which was scheduled to end in 2019 started in 2014.
Kutigi said that during the period under review the state achieved 66.66 per cent in programme implementation.