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 weeklong 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.
According to him, there is eligibility criteria in the project appraisal document and the project implementation manual that will clearly show which class of beneficiary you want to come into the project.
“Either as a medium scale farmer, small scale farmer or you are a woman or youth in the empowerment programme,” he said.
Garba said that part of the process for ensuring transparency of the project was the engagement of service providers and advertisement of the project in national dailies.
He further said that each of the benefitting states and the national headquarters had data base to help with transparency.
News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that 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.
– Aug. 01, 2019 10:15 GMT