$90m LIFE-ND Programme: Minister Charges Project Coordinators On Prudent Use Of Funds

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The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has charged project coordinators in-charge of implementation of the $90 million Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE-ND) in the Niger Delta region to be prudent in the way they expend funds meant for the project.
The minister who was speaking at the inauguration of the National Steering Committee of LIFE-ND in his office in Abuja yesterday, said the essence of the project, which is improving the livelihood of the people of the Niger Delta region must be at the core of every project to be implemented.
The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE-ND), is to be implemented through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in nine Niger Delta states of Cross River, Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Imo, Abia and Delta. It focuses on the development of seven value chain areas including, cassava, plantain, rice, fish, cocoa, oil Palm and poultry.
The project is jointly funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which will contribute $60 million for six states, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which is to contribute $30 million for the remaining three states.
Nanono who is the chairman of the National Steering Committee, in his speech at the inauguration said, “The organisational framework of LIFE-ND project has four levels: Federal, Regional, State and Local Government. Today we are inaugurating the National Steering Committee to be Chaired by the Minister and is composed of representatives from relevant departments and agencies.
“The strategic role of the National Steering Committee is to provide oversight functions in the implementation of LIFE-ND and also approve the Annual Work Plan and Budget.
“Under the implementation of LIFE-ND project, the Federal Government of Nigeria has identified priority value chains for the Niger Delta region. These value chains that have the potential to contribute immensely to annual agricultural productivity, food security and value chains development are cassava, Plantain, rice, fish, cocoa, oil Palm and poultry.”
He said the plan of the federal government to replicate the LIFE-ND project in the remaining five geo-political zones of the country has reached an advanced stage.
Also speaking, the director Project Coordinating Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Maimuna Habib said the Steering Committee would ensure prudent use of the funds for the project.
She said, “All the projects are supposed to create jobs, improve agricultural production, improve the value chain and link the farmers to markets.”

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