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FG raises panel to monitor N46.83b Life project in Niger Delta


The Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated a 14-member committee to monitor the implementation of the N46.83billion Life Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE-ND) project across the nine Niger Delta states, to ensure the target group benefitted from the project.

The loan facility provided by the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and supported by the federal and state governments, is targeted at developing some selected agricultural value chains, create jobs, and create wealth for the region.

IFAD would support six states with $60 million, while NDDC will provide $30 million for the remaining three.
Inaugurating the Project Steering Committee, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said the Committee will provide oversight function in the implementation of the project, adding that being a loan facility project, they must ensure that it’s got to the target beneficiary.

Nanono said the organisational framework for the LIFE-ND project has four levels: Federal, Regional, State, and Local Government. “Today, we are inaugurating the National Steering Committee to be chaired by the Minister and Permanent Secretary and composed of representatives from relevant departments and agencies.

“The National Steering Committee is expected to meet once in a year, and also approve the Annual Work Plan and Budget. The LIFE Programme Coordinator will serve as the Secretary, while the Regional LIFE-ND will serve as the Co-Secretary.
“Under the implementation of LIFE-ND project, the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified priority value chains for the Niger Delta region, and these value chains have the potential to contribute to annual agricultural productivity, food security and value chain development for cassava, plantain, rice, fish, cocoa, oil palm, and poultry.

“The LIFE-ND implementation arrangement, under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has nine benefiting oil producing states of Cross River, Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Imo, Abia and Delta, in a six-year implementation period, and another six years financing gaps, making a total of 12 years project cycle,” Nanono said.

He said the government’s plan is to replicate the LIFE-ND project in the remaining five geo-political zones of the country, which has reached an advanced stage.

The Director, Project Coordinating Department, Mrs Maimuna Habib, said: “This National Steering Committee is to ensure that there is a prudent use of funds within the project so that people don’t spend the fund the way they like.

“This project is from IFAD and it is worth $60 million for six states, and the remaining three states get $30 million, which is six states funded by IFAD, while states are funded by NDDC.

“All the projects are supposed to create jobs, improve agricultural production, creation of value chain, and link them to market. We have 10 projects under the Project Coordinating Department,” she added.

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