How FG, World Bank disappoint FADAMA/GUYS beneficiaries
More than one year after beneficiaries of the Fadama programme, an initiative of the Federal Government and the World Bank were validated and promised disbursement of fund for agricultural purposes, the FADAMA III AF authorities have again asked beneficiaries of the Graduate Unemployed Youths and Women Supports (GUYS) for another revalidation exercise across the participating states, through messages, without payment of the promised fund.
The beneficiaries have decried non-payment and the request for a revalidation process. They said they were directed to re-upload their sworn affidavits on FADAMA portals and report to their respective state FADAMA secretariats.
Mr. Kwaji Daguru, the Chairman of the FADAMA GUYS Implementation Committee, disclosed in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, last April that the fund would be disbursed, however, it was learnt that the fund was yet to be disbursed as at the time of filing this report.
According to one of the beneficiaries, Mr. Olawuni Mustapha, successful applicants attended a two-week training across the 23 participating states in 2017.
In Osun State, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife was the partner institution that conducted the training for the beneficiaries using the institutions teaching and research farm for field experiment, he revealed.
The programme, which targeted 5,916 youths in 23 states has the mandate to improve the country’s agricultural capacity, but is yet to meet up that task because the proposed disbursement periods in 2017 and 2018 for its take-off has not been met.
The beneficiaries were asked to open accounts with two designated banks for accessibility and monitoring, which has been done, but beneficiaries have not been paid according to investigations.
“The dry season is approaching and this ought to be time to release the funds. But feelers are that funding may be delayed till 2019. It is my expectation that the Federal Government does not play politics with the fund until election eve, of election.” Mustapha lamented.
He said documents required for the revalidation – data application page, employment validation status, screening result, land agreement with coordinates and sworn affidavit had been submitted.
The World Bank, through the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AFII) Programme, was to disburse N8.6b to youths across the country in the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme (FADAMA GUYS).
According to reports, the enrolment for the programme ended on May 15, 2017, with the aim that selected beneficiaries would boost job creation in the 23 states.
The 23 participating states are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Ogun and Ondo States.
Others include Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
When asked why the beneficiaries have not been paid and when they would be paid, Mr. Daguru replied that the Fadama III project has just completed the process of re-allocation of funds for the Programme and was currently re-validating the candidates with a view to commencing disbursement.
He did not explain reasons for the delay and did not announce a specific time frame for payment.
Mrs. Olufunke Olufon, the World Bank’s Representative in the country said the objective of the FADAMA III remained the same, and that detailed information on the project and its objectives were on the World Bank’s website.
However, the website did not contain why the FADAMA beneficiaries have not been paid and when they would be paid.