By Abu Nmodu, Minna –
Niger State government is to pay the sum of N80 million counter fund for the implementation of the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) project in the state.
The permanent secretary at the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development , Alhaji Yusuf Kagara, based on the fear of the World Bank task team leader, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, represented by Dr Ahmed Ibrahim that the state may delay implementation, assured that government would pay the counterpart funds soon.
He assured yesterday in Minna at the eight joint World Bank/Federal Government FADAMA III AF implementation supervision mission to the state , that “The governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has directed the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the counterpart fund is paid. I am sure that before the end of this week government will pay the money,’’
Kagara said that government would do everything possible to pay the counterpart fund because the project has impacted positively on farmers in the state adding that that government has put measures in place to ensure sustainability of the project objectives in the state.
He stated that “Niger state government is sensitising the benefiting communities to own and maintain the facilities,’’ even as the World Bank Task Team Leader said for the state to enjoy the programme the counterpart fund must be paid.
He noted that prompt payment of counterpart fund would ensure successful implementation of the project saying that “prompt payment of the counterpart funds will ensure the successful implementation of the business plans to the later,’’ .
According to the World bank chief “We have the fear that after handing over these facilities to the benefiting communities they will be abandoned. We want to know if government has put measures in place to ensure sustainability of the facilities.”
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 and 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.
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 started in 2014 and scheduled to end in 2019 .