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FG secures $600m W’Bank facility to rebuild North

By Matthew Ogune and Joke Falaju, Abuja
03 February 2022   |   3:20 am
The Federal Government has secured a $600 million credit facility from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to address challenges of land degradation in the 19 Northern states ...

Belgium pledges €5m yearly for N’East

The Federal Government has secured a $600 million credit facility from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to address challenges of land degradation in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The National Project Coordinator, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) ACReSAL, who was represented by Water Resources Specialist, Ayuba Yalaks, stated this at the Harvest Plus, ICRISAT Consultative Workshop, yesterday, in Abuja.

The fund is for the implementation of Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) project to increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in the North and strengthen the environment for integrated climate-resilient landscaping.

The six-year project is premised on the declining nutrient content of major crops in the last two decades due to climate change, forcing an expansion of the area under agriculture and increased import to meet the needs of Nigeria’s growing population.

Yalaks explained that the project was targeted at addressing environmental degradation in terms of deforestation, erosion, water management and meeting the people’s needs in food production.

According to him, pending the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the state government that initiated project had secured buy-in of state governors.

Being a community-driven project, he added, people at the community level have been well sensitised.
REBUILDING of the North East region, which is ravaged by terrorism, received a major boost, as the Kingdom of Belgium expressed its readiness to commit €5 million yearly towards the project.

The North East Development Commission (NEDC) Board Chairman, Maj-Gen. Paul Tarfa (rtd), had disclosed, last week, during a consultative meeting that up to $6.7 billion was required in four years for recovery and peace-building across the six affected states in the region.

But the Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Daniel Bertrand, who communicated the position of the Belgian government to the NEDC, yesterday, in Abuja, said the country was also ready to help the Nigerian authorities in other areas aside humanitarian assistance.

His words: “We are here on a courtesy visit, because Belgium is deeply involved in humanitarian assistance in the North East part of the country. I personally visited Borno twice to better understand the organisation and to know what we can do together because Belgium has very strong interest in developing its bilateral relationship with Nigeria in business, commerce and human relationship.”

“We, in the North East part of the country, especially from the humanitarian point of view, are at the disposal of the Nigerian authorities to do better.”