ACReSAL project: Minister lauds World Bank’ $2m disbursement to FCT 

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By Philip Yatai

The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Mariya Mahmoud, has commended the World Bank for disbursing 2 million dollars to the FCT.

The fund is for the implementation of the World Bank-supported Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project in the territory.

Mahmoud gave the commendation when the World Bank ACReSAL project Task Team Lead, Dr Joy Agene, visited her in Abuja on Friday.

She said that the partnership with the World Bank would foster environmental sustainability and agricultural prosperity for residents of the FCT under the ACReSAL project.

She said that the project aligned with the “Renewed Hope” agenda of President Bola Tinubu, particularly in addressing environmental degradation and the impact of climate change.

The minister said that Abuja, as Nigeria’s capital city in the past 48 years, had lost its tree covers and land degradation due to physical developmental projects.

According to her, part of the goals of the ACReSAL project is to restore the lost trees through afforestation and other climate change adaptation activities.

“We will do all that is possible for ACReSAL project to be sustained, maintained, and achieved by God’s grace.

“We will try and provide all that is necessary from our own side. All the requirements necessary to take FCT to the next level will be done to access the entire 10 million dollars.”

Earlier, Agene said that the visit was to brief the minister on the performance of the project so far in the FCT.

Agene added that the visit was also to thank the minister for her support and solicit for more, to ensure the success of the project in FCT.

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She said that so far, the World Bank had disbursed about 2 million dollars to the FCT.

She explained that ACReSAL,being a community-based project, was designed to enable communities to access the fund through a community revolving fund.

The task team lead commended the FCT for the formation of 250 community interest groups (CIGs,) through which the fund would be disbursed.

She said that the CIGs would be trained on how to access and utilise the funds.

She explained that each benefiting community would access 25,000 dollars to carry out afforestation, irrigation, and some climate change adaptation activities.

“The project is here to help communities to adapt to the shock that will come from climate change and to do that, one of the approaches is this revolving fund where communities will get about 25,000 dollars each.

“Beyond that, we have some investment in gully erosion, flood control and large afforestation at the FCT and we will need your support to do this,” she told the minister.

Agene also said that the visit was equally to infirm the minister what the FCT Administration needed to do to access more funding amounting to about 10 million dollars.

She identified the conditions as project design, environmental and social instrument, and catchment management plan.

“Once these three instruments are in place, be assured that the 10 million dollars will be sent to the FCT under the project.

“However, there is no way the FCT team can do this without your support and frequent checking and monitoring,” she added.

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Mr Lawan Geidam, Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, FCTA, said that a robust framework had been established to ensure the success of the project.

Geidam, who is also the Chairman of the Technical Committee, assured the World Bank team of active community participation in the implementation of the project.

“Also, the construction of boreholes in various communities, land restoration initiative, knowledge building programmes and the planned provision of critical agricultural inputs to farmers will improve the livelihood of our communities,” he said.

The National Coordinator of the project, Mr Abdulhamid Umar, explained that the project was being implemented in 19 states and the FCT, to tackle the challenge of landscape degradation and promote effective watershed management. (NAN)

Edited by Rotimi Ijikanmi

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