Fadama: World Bank urges Niger Govt to pay N80m Counterpart Fund

The World Bank has urged Niger Government to pay balance of N80 million being its counterpart funding for the implementation of   FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) Project in the state.

Dr Adetunji Oredipe, the World Bank Task Team Leader, gave the advice on Thursday at the Eight Joint World Bank/Federal Government FADAMA III AF implementation supervision mission to the state.

Oredipe, represented by Dr Ahmed Ibrahim, a member of the team, said, “The mission has observed that Niger is lacking behind in terms of payment of its counterpart fund.’’

The team leader said that prompt payment of the fund would guarantee successful implementation of the project.

He said the team observed some challenges in the area of small scale infrastructural development such as roads in the benefiting communities in the state.

“We have the fear that after handing over these facilities to the benefiting communities they will be abandoned.

“We want to know if the state government has put measures in place to ensure sustainability of the facilities,’’ Oredipe said.

He urged the state government to always hold meetings of the Project Implementation Committee with the stakeholders toward the success of the project.

Oredipe said that the mission would follow up its findings of the mid-term review in the last six month and make recommendations.

Responding, Alhaji Yusuf Kagara, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, promised that the state government would pay the counterpart fund before the end of the week.

“Gov. Abubakar Bello has directed his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, to go to the Ministry of Finance to ensure the payment of the counterpart fund.

Kagara said that the state would do everything possible to pay the counterpart fund as the project had impacted positively on farmers in the state.

He said that measures had been put in place to ensure sustainability of the project objectives in the state.

“`Niger Government is sensitising the benefiting communities to own and maintain the facilities,’’ Kagara said.

Earlier, Alhaji Aliyu Kutigi, the State Programme Coordinator, said that N160 million out of the targeted N240 million had been paid.

Kutigi said that the project which started in 2014 was scheduled to end in 2019.

The programme coordinator said that during the period under review the state achieved 66.7 per cent in the programme implementation. (NAN)

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