FADAMA: World Bank urges state govts. to pay counterpart funds for more benefits
The World Bank has called on states benefitting from the FADAMA programme to pay their own counterpart funds to enable them to benefit maximally from the programme.
Dr Adetunji Oredipe, World Bank Task Team Leader for the FADAMA III Programme, made the called on Friday in Abuja during the concluding meeting of the FADAMA supervision mission.
He said that World Bank, through the FADAMA programme, would not like to work with states that were not meeting their obligations to complement its efforts toward the success of the programme.
“The request is enormous and the needs at the community level are huge; the resources we have at the project level are limited.
“It is just a reasonable decision to work with the states that have paid their counterpart funds.
“We want to use this opportunity to thank those states that paid their counterpart funds to ensure that their farmers benefit fully from the project,’’ he said.
The team leader rated the performance of the FADAMA III project across the states as 70 per cent, judging from the number of states that had fulfilled their obligations.
“We are sending the clear message, which means that we may not be able to continue doing anything with those states that are not meeting their own counterpart fund obligations.
“Counterpart funds are the funds required to complement some of the things we do at the state level,’’ he said.
Oredipe noted that the FADAMA III programme was initially designed to end in December 2017, adding that the conclusion of the programme had been shifted to December 2019.
He said that the extension of the programme was particularly designed to enable the north-eastern part of the country, which was hitherto plagued by the Boko Haram insurgency, to benefit from it, while restoring the livelihoods of the people.
“We are leveraging on that and we have a two-year grace to complete what we have started.
“Our emphasis now is on how to complete all the projects we have started because by December 2019, we will not want to see any uncompleted project under this programme,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Tayo Adewumi, National Programme Coordinator of FADAMA, said that the programme was able to attain 70-per-cent achievement because some states paid their counterpart funds for the project.
“The counterpart fund at the state level is like matching grant because there are some activities in the state level like monitoring, payment of staff allowance, among others, that need to be funded.
“The World Bank fund is already hooked down to support farmers, based on their capacities in the four value chains of rice, cassava, sorghum and horticulture,’’ he said.
Adewumi said that the states had over-sensitised the farmers to the sustainability of the programme, and based on the available funds, the project had only 30 per cent of the funds remaining for disbursement.
“We need to prioritise our activities; so the state counterpart funds were used to fund those activities we could not fund and used to sustain the project thereafter.
“Even at this mission, we have been able to support up to 200,000 farmers across the states in the four value chains we are operating in.
“We have a platform that is supporting the farmers directly using the World Bank funds.
“The only group of farmers that would not benefit are those who are supposed to pay beneficiary contributions, either in cash or kind,’’ he said.