Three years on, FG/IFAD $130m joint project yet to begin in three states | The Guardian Nigeria News

Three years after the Federal Government (FG) launched the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project in nine oil-producing states, the project is yet to kick off in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states.

The 12-year project, jointly implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the tune of $130m was launched in 2019, and was to be implemented in Abia; Bayelsa; Cross River; Delta; Edo and Ondo. Others were Akwa Ibom, Imo and Rivers states. But unfortunately, three years on, three states are yet to start the project.

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The project, aimed at creating employment and reducing restiveness through agricultural interventions for youths in the Niger Delta Region, and with IFAD’s support, was expected to run from 2019 to 2025, as the first phase, while the second phase would commence from 2026 to 2031.The second phase would attract $30m from IFAD also as a loan, and $500,000, as a grant from the same international organisation.

A breakdown of the funding showed a $60m loan from IFAD, $30m from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), $4.60m as contributions from the Federal Government, and $4.91m as counterpart funding from the state governments.

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The LIFE-ND National Project Coordinator, Abiodun Sanni, while speaking to newsmen, on Friday, said the project was yet to commence in the three states because NDDC was yet to provide its counterpart funding.

He said the first six states were funded through IFAD credit facility of $60m while the second category was to be financed through the NDDC.

He said no fewer than 4250 agropreneurs had so far benefitted from the project and that based on the loan portfolio, the target was to have 4,250 agropreneurs in each of the nine Niger Delta states.

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