The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has inaugurated Local Government Implementation Committees for the world Bank-supported Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project.
The Mandate Secretary of the Secretariat, Mr Lawan Geidam, who inaugurated the committees for the six Areas Councils of the FCT, in Abuja on Friday, said the committee will also act as liaison to the State Project Management Unit and Secretariat, Departments and Agencies and provide support to stakeholder analysis and identification for implementation activities.
Facilitate the implementation of the watershed management strategies and report to the SPMU on the Area Council’s progress towards meeting intervention targets.
“They will also supervise maintenance of intervention works.”
Geidam said that the goal of the committee was to foster a sense of ownership and encourage community participation in aspects of the project being implemented at community and household levels.
He explained that the committee would be made up of the Chairmen of the Area Councils as chairmen, with the Head of Departments of works, agriculture, environment as members.
Other members include facilitators, who are subject specialists and relevant non-governmental organisations.
According to him, the committee will be responsible for overall supervision of the project at the local government level.
He explained that the ACReSAL Project was a community-based initiative funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Water Resources.
He said that the project was specifically designed to tackle the challenge of landscape degradation and promote effective watershed management.
This, he said, will build community resilience to climate change and bolster agricultural production for enhanced livelihood in the 19 northern states of Nigeria and the FCT.
The Secretary said FCT became actively involved in the project in 2022, under the guidance of the Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU).
Adding that FCT had met all the necessary prerequisites to access the World ACReSAL Project funds.
“We anticipate that the remaining five-year duration of this project will bring about significant enhancements, not only in our environment but also in the livelihoods of our communities.
“I urge you all, especially the Chairmen of the six Area Councils, to see this project as a golden opportunity to enrich the lives of your people,” he said.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator, FCT ACReSAL, Mrs Caroline Opara, said that inaugurating the committee was crucial considering the community approach to the implementation of the programme.
Opara said that the committee, inaugurated for each of the Area Councils, would ensure inclusiveness and effective implementation of the project and sustainability of the intervention made in any community.
She said that some of the interventions to be made in the communities include provision of solar powered boreholes, standalone solar light, farmer-led irrigation, and reclamation of degraded forest reserves among others.
“Your support. is therefore, highly needed for the successful implementation of the ACReSAL project across communities in the FCT,” she said.
The National Coordinator of the project, Mr Mukhtar Tanko, said that a total of 700 million dollars loan was secured from the World Bank in 2021 for the ACReSAL project and became effective in 2022.
Tanko, however, said that no state would access the facility without providing their own counterpart fund.
He said that the FCT had paid N334 million as a counter fund and urged the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, to settle the balance, adding that the minimum was N500 million while the maximum was N1 billion.
He said that so far, the project has accessed over N11 billion from the implementing states as counterpart funds.
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