World Bank supervision team has commended the implementation of in Nigeria.
The team gave the commendation on the sideline of the 9th Supervision Mission of WAAPP in Ibadan.
WAAPP is a World Bank sponsored programme in the auspices of ECOWAS aimed at boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing diplomatic ties in the sub region.
The team leader, Shehu Salau, told journalists that the project was being implemented accordingly, noting that the implementers had done better than expected in some areas.
“I am very pleased with what I have seen even with little money; because the funding for WAAPP is very small when compared to other World Bank or donor supported projects.
“They have worked within the agreement signed and overall, it is excellent.
“The implementing institutions have done very well and some of them have even gone beyond the call of duty like we have seen,” he said.
Project site visited include Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi, Federal Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research and Nobex Tech Company, all in Lagos State.
The team also visited the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Institute for Agricultural Research and Training and the Department of Fisheries and Aqua Culture Management, University of Ibadan in Oyo State.
Salau explained that WAAPP was designed to be implemented over two phases, saying that the second phase was dependent on the successes of the first phase and willingness of the host country to participate in the second.
He said Nigeria should be going into the second phase based on the performance of the first phase but the government had to apply for either additional financing or indicate interest to participate in the second phase.
The team leader said Nigeria was very important in the sub region, saying “if any project works in Nigeria, it will make a huge impact on the sub region”.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Matazu, Chief Adminitrative Officer, International Economic Relations, Federal Ministry of Finance, said that the assessment of the project reflected prudent implementation.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Finance, being the borrower of the funds, was satisfied with the implementation so far.
“As a matter of fact, we have requested for the implementation of the programme for another six months, we are waiting for the bank to respond before the decision on the additional financing or the second phase is made.
“Going by the successes achieved, if World Bank does not grant the second phase, the Nigerian Government is capable of continuing the project.
“However, every country needs support, especially developing countries, so, we need the support of the World Bank and other international donors to keep developing,” he said.
Mr Michael Brooks, Deputy Director, Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, expressed the hope that the Nigerian Government would benefit from the second phase of the WAAPP programme.
He said it was necessary because of the successes recorded in the first phase which would come to an end in June.
He said that apart from success, the impact of the programme had been very positive on the beneficiaries, especially the rural people.
“In a nutshell, the implementation of WAAPP is very commendable and as such, Nigeria stands to get more if we progress into the second phase for the benefit of the rural people,” he noted.