The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has declared open World Bank Country Portfolio Performance Review Meeting (CPPR) for the Bank’s assisted projects in the Northern region.
Addressing participants gathered at the Reiz Continental Hotel, venue of the event, in Abuja on Monday, October 22, 2018, FCT Minister disclosed that his Administration, last year, released the sum of N113 Million being a backlog of counterpart funds for the commencement of the World Bank Fadama III Project upon which over 3500 farmers were registered.
His words, “This was in keeping with the agenda of the Federal government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, to diversify the economy through restoring the priority place of agriculture and empowering rural farmers. The initiative was hinged on ramping up production and developing value chains in the four selected staple crops of rice, sorghum, cassava and tomato.”
The Minister, who was represented at the occasion by his Chief of Staff, Malam Muhammed Bashir Mai-Borno, pledged the commitment of the FCT Administration to making funds available towards the realization of the goals of the World Bank assisted projects in the FCT.
In a performance report, presented at the meeting, the desk officer for Community Social Development Projects (CSDP) Dr. Babagana Adams revealed that the World Bank, earmarked $6,075,258.2 towards the execution of various CSDP and Fadama III projects under the year’s project cycle.
Towards this, the FCT Administration, he indicated, has concluded plans to release a first tranche of N50 Million naira as its counterpart fund for the successful execution of the project envisaged in the year under review. This, he stated, demonstrates the commitment of the FCT Administration, to ensuring that the target populations derive the needed benefits from the World Bank intervention projects.
In his welcome remarks at the occasion, The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, explained that the portfolio review is a joint annual event between the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria to assess the implementation performance of World Bank assisted projects in the country.
He remarked, “the objective is to evaluate how these states are performing, what are the results that they have been achieving, what are the challenges that they are facing and what are the actions that could improve and accelerate the pace of implementation of these projects.
Benmessaoud thanked the FCT Minister for hosting the group in the capital territory.
The World Bank Project Facilitator, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa, while presenting the Nigeria Portfolio Performance in the Northern Region, decried the low disbursement ratio to states in the region, revealing that only Niger State came close to meeting the targets.
Mrs. Udolisa expressed worries that underperforming States were in danger of losing their own share of the World Bank grants. She lamented that at the rate at which the states were going, with just about 3 percent disbursement, within the project cycle, it may not exceed 13 percent overall by the end of the 4th quarter of this year, hence the need to double their efforts.
“What it means is that for projects that are already active, we have to perform double to cover for the ones that have not yet become effective,” she urged.
Chief Press Secretary.