Beneficiaries of Nigeria/World Bank agric grant assured of transparency

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Dr Salisu Garba, Project Operations Manager of the 200 million dollar World Bank assisted project called Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project(APPEALS) has assured of transparency in its implementation.

Garba, gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of a week long project facilitation training workshop in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said that transparent measures would be adopted in enlisting 60,000 farmers expected to benefit from the project in six focal states of Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Enugu and Cross River.

Garba, who allayed fears that farmers often did not benefit from interventions due to alleged sharp practices by middlemen, added that necessary guidelines would be followed in ensuring that only eligible farmers benefitted.

“On the issue of transparency of the APPEALS project, you know this is a fund that is given by the World Bank as a grant to our beneficiaries.

“You know World Bank has its rules, regulations and guidelines on how the fund will be disbursed and, before anything, all the state governments must have signed subsidiary agreements on how this fund will be assessed.

“Based on the guidelines, before you expend any amount of money you must follow the procurement procedure, financial management guidelines and even implementation structure.

“They have a document called project appraisal document, where all these things are specified including how to implement and benefit from the project,” he said.

The APPEALS project, being implemented through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is a six year project expected to run between 2017 and 2023.

The Project is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (The Green Alternative) of the federal government.

It is meant to build on the legacy of the federal government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and plans, to support policy thrust on food security, local production, job creation and Economic Diversification.