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FG partners World Bank to address environmental challenges

Agro-climatic resilience

The Federal Government, in collaboration with the World Bank, launched the Agroclimatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes Project (ACReSAL), to address environmental challenges in northern Nigeria.

Minister Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, at the World Bank Pre-Launch Mission in Abuja, on Sunday, said the project would last five to six years.

Abdullahi assured the Nigerians that the project would be implemented effectively, adding that all documentation on the project would reach the World Bank as soon as possible.

He said with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Water Resources, and also the support of the World Bank, the objective of the project should be achieved.

He said the project is very important as it will also address the water stress system and restore lost land, thus making the land reproductive for agriculture.

Abdullahi said: “The project will also address environmental challenges such as climate change, the erosion system, biodiversity, among others.

“We thank the World Bank for initiating this project and I assure you that from the Ministry of the Environment we will do everything possible to implement the project.

“We will ensure that the political will is achieved to promote this project, in accordance with the mandates and its objectives. We are going to make sure that various governors at the state level meet the objectives of the project.

“I have instructed the national coordinator of the project to ensure that all the documentation needed to declare the effectiveness of the project reaches the World Bank at the latest.”

The project will also address environmental challenges such as climate change, the erosion system, biodiversity among others.

Project monitoring

He said the Ministry had also set up a project tracking system in the office that would improve achievement, and urged state governors, commissioners and other relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the project through strong cooperation and commitment.

Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said collective action in the implementation of the project would bring positive results.

Ikeazor noted that if the project were implemented effectively, about 70% of environmental problems would be resolved in the states.

She said: “We are ready to implement the project, with the two ministers that we are working with, I think it will improve the execution of the project.

“This project is big and it is a project that Nigeria is privileged to have. I want to thank the World Bank team and the three ministries for their strong support and commitment to the implementation of the project.”

The government must ensure that all kinds of insecurity in the areas are addressed to allow people to concentrate and get the job done effectively.

Achieving objective

The World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the Bank would continue to support Nigeria to ensure that the objective of the project is achieved.

“The World Bank team remains committed to this project, but I want to call on governments at all levels to ensure that the team and others in the field are protected.

“The government must ensure that all kinds of insecurity in the areas are addressed to allow people to concentrate and get the job done effectively,” he said.

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, who spoke on behalf of other governors, said the project would benefit all people in the states.

“We are happy and grateful to have this laudable project that will curb poverty and address environmental challenges in our state.

“We, as governors, will make sure to support the World Bank team and the Federal Government to ensure that insecurity is efficiently addressed in the states,” Sule said.

Also speaking, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mamood Abubakar, explained that the project started at the Bank when he was Minister of Environment.

“I have a great passion for this project because I know that it will forever change the lives of many people and of the diverse communities in the states.

“This project will improve people’s livelihoods; therefore, it requires careful planning, good management and the commitment of all,” said Abubakar.

Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Suleman Adamu, urged all states, local governments and other beneficiaries of the project to claim ownership of the project for sustainability.

“State governors and the people of all states must ensure that the efforts of the World Bank and the federal government are not in vain.

“There is a need to secure the project and ensure its benefits are realized,” said Adamu. (NAN)

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